Collier Co. residents use social media to spread message against oil drilling
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - Collier Co. residents are using social media to spread anti-oil drilling messages, taking their fight to the EPA.
Karen Dwyer is one of the lead organizers of the "Preserve Our Paradise” movement, the group behind stopping big oil drilling here in Collier County.
While Karen can often be spotted in town hall meetings and public hearings fighting to spread her message, you can also catch her behind her computer screen, taking her talking points viral.
“It's like continually being updated and changed, people can post comments we can have updates on times,” said Dwyer. “It's just a much more exciting form of media."
Karen is in charge of writing the memos and updates that her co-organizers then post to social media sites like Facebook, a tool that “Preserve Our Paradise” organizers are finding to be vitally important to their cause.
“Things are happening so quickly with the oil drilling that social media is really helpful because we can’t always have a meeting,” said Dwyer, “so we can get out or message."
Organizers are also taking to sites like change.org to get their message out, most recently circulating a petition and encouraging local residents to draft letters to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to hold a public hearing on oil drilling.
“It's a really good way to make sure that you're a part of the action and that you're really doing something even if you're just signing a petition,” said Dwyer.
That petition is picking up big numbers with almost four thousand signatures so far, allowing “Preserve Our Paradise” to reach audiences from all over.
“My sister from Thailand will write in,” said Dwyer. “People from all over will write in, in support of us.”
That support hopefully turning into the action Karen says she needs to stop big oil from drilling in Collier County.
“Before you know it you've got this firestorm of public decent about oil drilling in Naples,” said Dwyer, “It's not just one person, it’s four thousand people."
While the war isn't over yet, Karen says she believes the power of social media has allowed the movement to win countless battles so far.
“I think they would have permitted it already if they didn't have this entire network,” said Dwyer.