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‘To Drill or Not To Drill’ Forum Oct. 17

WILMINGTON — The first Public Square forum will focus on the development of offshore oil and gas exploration along the North Carolina coast.

Set for 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College, two internationally recognized speakers will face-off on the offshore oil and gas exploration issue. John-Michael Cousteau, renowned oceans scientist, will be speaking against it, while John Hofmiester, former president of Shell Oil, will provide arguments in favor. Their discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

This community discussion is hosted by Cape Fear Realtors, Cape Fear Community College, UNC-Wilmington, NC Realtors, Star News Media, 91.3 WHQR Public Radio and WECT-TV. Tickets are $10 each. Admission includes a full-color briefing program and parking at the adjacent parking garage.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is helping to underwrite the forum. Federation members are eligible for up to two free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. To receive free tickets, click on “get a ticket,” and then enter the promotional code CIVILITY. If you choose to have printed tickets mailed to you, there will be $2 fee.

The Public Square is a new program in Wilmington that is the result of collaborative efforts by Cape Fear Realtors, Cape Fear Community College and UNC-Wilmington. Its purpose is to inform the public and engage them in local issues. It will host national speakers and provide opportunities for area residents to learn more about various and often divisive issues.

The Wilmington-based group Save Our Sea plans to hold a rally to oppose offshore oil drilling from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., prior to the forum, at the corner of Third and Brunswick streets, outside the Wilson Center.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.