UPDATE: Shell oil protesters move protest barge

After getting a substantial amount of bad press for damaging marine life while anchoring a “protest barge” off of Seacrest park, Shell oil rig protesters have relocated to another spot just north of Cove 2. In the end, they simply cut the cables and left the concrete anchor blocks, as attempting to pull everything up would likely cause further damage to the dive site. They claim that this somehow rectifies the situation, as they contributed new habitat for marine life to colonize. It’s not particularly good habitat compared with the pilings that they damaged, but hey, who’s keeping track?

The protest organizers have been in full-blown PR damage-control mode for the past week or so. The media appears to be somewhat biased in their reporting of the situation, claiming that the damage was minimal. This blog contains photographic evidence to the contrary, but they can’t let facts get in the way of their “narrative”. The group itself has issued a series of non-apologies, including the gem from this article:

“Of course the last thing we wanted to do was to do any harm to the sea life,” said Bill Moyer, executive director of the Backbone Campaign. “If we could do damage by putting down an anchor, imagine how much damage an oil rig could do in the Arctic.”

Yes, thank you for trashing our dive site and then attempting to make the whole fiasco you created into a “teachable moment” to further your own agenda. For the sake of a stupid PR stunt, you guys have just alienated numerous local divers, the majority of whom are already conservation-oriented. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t have called you out on your BS in the first place. You have just demonstrated your hypocrisy, arrogance, and supreme ignorance of the underwater world to people who would have been your natural allies in the struggle to preserve marine habitat. Way to go, Backbone Campaign. Way to go.

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