Atlantic Coast Business Leaders Elected to New Board Business Alliance Formally Organized

Atlantic Coast Business Leaders Elected to New Board Business Alliance Formally Organized

COLUMBIA, SC- The Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) recently elected its board of directors and officers. BAPAC is leading the business opposition to drilling and seismic testing for oil and gas off the Atlantic Coast.

All BAPAC Board member are founding members of BAPAC which was first informally organized last September in response to the imminent threat of seismic testing permits being issued by the Obama Administration. BAPAC was successful in having all those permits denied.

BAPAC’s previous petitions against offshore drilling and seismic testing secured signatures representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families.

Board members are:

Vicki Clark, Chair – Cape May County Chamber of Commerce
Tom Kies, Vice Chair – Carteret County Chamber of Commerce
Frank Knapp Jr., President/CEO – South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Karen Brown – Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce
Kerry Marhefka – Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Laura Habr – Virginia Beach Restaurant Association
Pat Broom – Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce
Sandra Bundy – B&P Inc. Real Estate Services
Tim O’Brien- Tycoon Tackle Tonya Bonitatibus – Savannah Riverkeeper

“BAPAC is now proactively educating policymakers at the local, state and national levels about the serious threat testing and drilling for offshore oil poses to our vibrant Atlantic Coast tourism, recreation and commercial fishing economies,” said Frank Knapp Jr., BAPAC’s new president and CEO. “We are reaching out to individual businesses and business organizations to join us in our mission to ensure the long term health and economic vitality of the Atlantic seaboard through responsible stewardship of the coastal and ocean waters.”

Vicki Clark said, “The Atlantic Coast needs an organization like BAPAC to advocate for the continuous protection of our coast, the quality of life of those living along the coast, and the tourism and fishing industries depending on a clean and healthy coastline.”

Tom Kies said, “I’m pleased to be part of this organization. Quality of life all up and down the east coast is an economic driver.”

Tim O’Brien said, “I understand the necessity of affordable and abundance fuel solutions, especially because my business improves with low-cost fuel. However, the potential of an international environmental catastrophe similar to the Deep Water Horizon accident is too much to risk for a few barrels of oil because it will not only impact the coast of Virginia, but impact the entire Atlantic Ocean.”

Sandra Bundy said, “As a real estate broker along the Grand Strand promoting the area as a great place to live depends on having clean ocean waters and beaches. Jeopardizing the future of our coast with seismic testing for offshore drilling fails to account for our way of life and what we are working to protect.”