Dozens head to Naples Pier for Hands Across the Sand event

Dozens head to Naples Pier for Hands Across the Sand event

By Sara Belsole. CREATED May 17, 2014

NAPLES, Fla. - Dozens lined the shores next to the Naples Pier Saturday for the fourth annual Hands Across the Sand event.

"We are literally drawing a line on the beach, we are drawing the line against dirty fuels," Karen Dwyer, with the Stonecrab Alliance, said.

The group is pushing for the shutdown of new Everglades oil drilling and finding new, more energy-efficient ways to live.

"It's about unity, solidarity, it's about the entire nation saying we are ready to make that leap and we need to, especially here in Southwest Florida, Dwyer said.

Environmentalists have new ammunition after Dan A. Hughes, a Texas oil company, was caught and fined $25,000 for illegally fracking in Collier County. 

While the state has suspended all drilling by Dan A. Hughes, groups like the Stonecrab Alliance say they are still fighting the possibility of fracking in the Everglades, which they say would devastate the environment.

"Our environment is the cornerstone of really what is a multi billion dollar industry in the state of Florida. People come here because of our clean air and clean water," Ray Judah, with the Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, said.

Judah says those in power need to do more. A recent federal climate change study shows much of Southwest Florida could experience dramatic, damaging effects.

"Our elected officials are just not taking seriously enough their responsibility to be stewards of our environment," Judah said.