Coal Free Future Tour Kicks Off

by Kelly Mitchell

January 20, 2011

The Arctic Sunrise arrived in Wilmington, NC this morning to kick off our Coal Free Future ship tour.

After long days of planning and prep, we’re excited to finally to sit down with people in North Carolina and hear – first hand – how coal is impacting their lives.

Over the next month, Greenpeace will be working alongside communities like the one here in Wilmington, and charting a course for how we can work together to take on the coal industry.

At around 9:30, I joined a small boat with local sailors, environmentalists, and news crews to watch the Sunrise pull into the harbor. On the ride out, we discussed coal-related issues in the area, including a recent breech of a toxic coal ash impoundment just up the river. (Not to mention, the best restaurants in Wilmington, “secret” locals-only fishing spots, and the massive ammunitions base at the mouth of the Cape Fear River).

On the small boat, we escorted the Arctic Sunrise into town, waving to the crew, cameras and binoculars in hand. Energy remained high as the ship docked, and people turned out on land to welcome us to Wilmington. With the newly arrived ship in the background, I did a few interviews with local television reporters, discussing the LV Sutton coal plant, coal activism in North Carolina, and our vision for a coal-free future.

You can check out some of the early coverage from WWAYtv3, WECT6, and News14 Carolina.

I’m already buzzing with excitement, and it’s just the first day of the first stop! This weekend, we will hold a non-violence training, a vigil at the LV Sutton plant, and open boat tours for the public. After the weekend here we’ll sail onto Philly, NYC and Boston.

If you’re near Wilmington, come visit. You can check out our schedule of events here.

Update: Our on onboard webbie, Chris Eaton, made this video while sailing up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington yesterday:

Kelly Mitchell

By Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell is the Climate and Energy Campaign Director for Greenpeace, based in Chicago. Since 2006, she has worked with activists and organizations across the country to confront corporate polluters and transform U.S. energy policy. She currently leads Greenpeace's campaign for an economy powered by 100 percent renewable energy, pushing some of the largest companies in the world to embrace wind and solar and working alongside communities to develop a just and democratic energy system.

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