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Hundreds of people joined hands to form a line near the ocean to emphasize their opposition for offshore drilling during the 8th annual Hands Across the Sand event at Folly Beach in 2017. File/Staff

A rally opposing oil and natural gas drilling offshore will take place on the Statehouse steps in Columbia on Tuesday.

It precedes a federal agency public meeting on the Trump administration's plan to reopen the ocean off South Carolina to the work.

Hundreds of people are expected.

The rally is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. on the north steps of State Capitol, 1100 Gervais St., or just inside the Statehouse in case of bad weather.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting is set to take place from 3-7 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton at 2100 Bush River Road in Columbia.

The meeting is designed to hear public comment for one of the most controversial issues facing the coast and state in years. Oil industry and conservation opponents have fought for more than six years over opening the Southeast coast to exploration.

The Coastal Conservation League is organizing bus rides, which are $3. Email caitiefs@scccl.org or call 1-843-725-2064.

Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.