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Coastal rallyers form a human chain in Coney Island

Leave only your footprints!

Pint-sized activist Illyria Ivana’s placard said it all as the Brighton Beach girl joined coastal gladiators from across the borough to protest hazardous offshore drilling, and demand clean energy — "NOW” — with a rally in Coney Island, June 26.

Families, students and seniors teamed up to stem the tide of oil gobs polluting their seas and shorelines during a world-wide day of protest by Hands Across the Sands, coordinated in the borough by the New York Public Interest Research Group in conjunction with Parents for Climate Protection, and Brooklyn Greens.

Elsewhere along the somber human chain of solidarity against BP, whose April 20 oil rig explosion in the Mexican Gulf killed 11 workers and set the course for the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, were Jacob Stevenson and his sister Lilly, who held up a T-shirt emblazoned with the oil giant’s green and yellow horizon insignia, and underscored by one word, “Boycott.”

For irked pals Lana Santana, Chris Schelberg and Dana Hershkowitz, the aim was simple enough to write on a sign which the triumvirate toted, proudly: “No more offshore drilling, protect our oceans.”

Not far off, Tracy Shupp and other beach-goers stopped to add their signatures to a petition insisting for protection of the world’s coastal areas.

“There was a palpable exasperation among the people, who wanted to do something about the oil spill,” said NYPIRG staff attorney Lauren Schuster, who coordinates the organization’s environmental campaigns.

“It was a wonderful experience because people are looking for opportunities to get active and show that they care, and that they are going to get involved,” she added of the pro-active event, which was one of 8,000 held in 30 states across the nation.

For its part, Hands Across the Sands insists its eco-friendly campaigns are not politically motivated.

“It is about protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, and fishing industry,” reads an excerpt from the group’s mission statement.

— Shavana Abruzzo

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