LegaSea was formed in 1988 on the Outer Banks to study and address the potential impacts of Mobil Oil’s plan to drill 40 miles off Hatteras Island. Mobil Oil purchased leases and drilling rights for this area in 1982 from the federal government. This was unbeknownst to the local population of the Outer Banks until 1988 when representatives of big oil came to "share the good news" that exploratory drilling would start soon. Hearings had been held in Charlotte, NC in 1982 -- six years earlier rather than on the Outer Banks and the community was shocked by the news.
After an in-depth study of the issue it became clear that drilling offshore provided significant risks to our community, our economy and our environment and it became LegaSea's mission to prevent drilling. Since that time, the Outer Banks community has banded together in unison in opposition to offshore drilling and a vast majority of our community is opposed to this activity. Mobil's plans to drill were finally thwarted when congress passed the Outer Banks Protection Act sending Mobil packing. This is the only instance in U.S. history where an oil company with existing leases was prevented from drilling.
LegaSea will continue its single mission as the focal point for protection of the Outer Banks against offshore drilling. We urge local residents, community organizations and anyone else who loves the Outer Banks to join LegaSea and work together with us to protect these Outer Banks which are precious to all of us and important to our future and to a healthy environment.