BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Over a dozen coast residents met in Biloxi this afternoon, to join hands across the sand.
It was an event put together by an organization dedicated to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore resources of the gulf coast.
"This is a beautiful view out here behind us and we don't want to see drill rigs on the horizon," Helen Rose Patterson with the Mississippi Organizer of Gulf Restoration Network said.
While the threat of offshore drilling is not imminent, for a long time the state has wanted to open up state waters for drilling. But a group of members from the 12 Miles South Coalition, and other supporters, gathered to share a message of concern for both the environment and the economy.
"It's bad for the tourism economy, it increases our risk of spills and things like that and we just can't afford that," Patterson stressed.
"You look at the effect of the BP spill it effected the coast across three states, and people didn't come even in some ways after a year some things were fine as far as tourists go, but people didn't come because they had this idea that there was a problem here," Biloxi resident Colin Landis said.
Not all demonstrators think it's a bad idea to drill in state waters, and around the Gulf Island National Seashore, they do believe it should be far away from potentially harming what so many people enjoy.
"You can still be pro-business and be conscience of the environment and I think it's important for corporations to have responsibility for the effect they have on the environment," Landis said.
Their peaceful demonstration might not change the minds of officials, but they're hoping to at least bring more attention to protecting state waters.
This is the fourth year that the 12 Miles South Coalition, and supporters of the organization, have held the hands across the sand event.