SLO protesters rally against oil drilling, in support of marine sanctuary

About 100 people gathered Thursday at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo to protest oil drilling off the Central Coast and to advocate for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Armed with signs touting phrases such as “Keep it in the ground” and “Oil & water don’t mix,” as well as ones against the proposed Phillips 66 Co. rail-spur project, attendees listened to speakers that included 3rd District San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill and Fred Collins, a tribal administrator for the Northern Chumash Tribal Council. They then marched through downtown San Luis Obispo.

“Our coast is precious in so many ways to this community, and it always has been,” Hill told the crowd.

He encouraged residents to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to voice their opposition to offshore drilling and support the marine sanctuary. Supervisor Bruce Gibson, who represents the 2nd District, was also in attendance, and Hill encouraged advocates to focus on convincing Supervisor Lynn Compton, whose 4th District includes coastal land and Phillips 66 Co.’s Nipomo Mesa refinery.

“It’s not just enough to come out with signs,” Hill said. “We’re going to commit to win.”