Thursday, June 17, 2010

How can you help with the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

So. I am pretty sad and outraged about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I was pondering today if there is anything I personally could do to help the clean up. Yes yes, I know its BP's responsibility to clean up but the faster if gets done and the more help there is the less the damage that will be done.

So there is a few things that you can do.

1. You can head on down and volunteer your time with one of the great organizations that are recruiting help right now (see list at the bottom of this post for more details).

2. Donate some Dough to the effort. This can be as simple as a text away.

The National Wildlife Federation is looking for volunteers and support to help spot distressed or oiled wildlife, and to assist in the cleanup and restoration efforts along the coast of Louisiana. You can text the word "NWF" to 20222. That'll donate $10 to the National Wildlife Federation through your phone bill.

United Way has launched the Gulf Recovery Fund, which is providing emergency assistance and long term recovery support for the communities devastated by this oil spill. Those who need help or want to volunteer to help can dial 2-1-1. You can donate to this fund by calling 1-866-5826, or text the word "United" to 50555 to donate $10 from your mobile phone.

The Nature Conservancy has committed to the long-term restoration work needed in the Gulf and states along its coast, and has launched their Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration to support this effort. The Fund was set up to aid in re-establishing critical habitats such as marshes, seagrass beds, oyster reefs, and coastal wetlands. You can text the word "coast" to 50555. That'll donate $10 through your mobile phone.

3. Ponder Off Shore Drilling's future in our oceans and get involved in the conversation. Check out The DogWood Initiative in BC.

4. Invest in Green Energy and use Green Energy as much as possible in your daily life. Check out this youtube video and link...and consider if you can cut down on your own oil use.

Here is a list of organizations looking for volunteers to help with the oil spill clean up.

The Audubon Society
, which is affiliated with the Louisiana Coastal Initiative, is making its Center for Birds of Prey in Florida available for bird cleansing and rehabilitation and is seeking volunteers. Elsewhere, Audubon said it was gearing up to mobilize volunteers and provide assistance as the oil reaches land in Louisiana and elsewhere. Find a local office

The Deep Water Horizon response team is looking for help in identifying shoreline and animals affected. Oiled wildlife should not be captured but instead reported at 1-866-557-1401. To report areas with oil ashore or to leave contact information to volunteer in the affected areas, call 1-866-448-5816.

These local organizations also are gathering volunteers' information as they prepare for the environmental damage this oil can cause:

The Alabama Coastal Foundation is collecting contact information from volunteers for cleanup efforts along the Alabama coast should the oil spill reach the state's shores. Call 251-990-6002

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is looking for volunteers to help reduce the potential impact of the oil spill in Mobile Bay. Call 251-431-6409.

The Mobile Baykeeper is asking for contact details of volunteers is collecting contact information for volunteers to respond anywhere along the Gulf Coast, if needed. Call 251-433-4229.

Save Our Seabirds is a Florida bird rescue group that is looking for support as its response team prepares to help oiled wildlife. Call 941-388-3010.

In addition to the wildlife specific organizations, others are also looking to assist with the effects of the oil spill.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation, which serves the 13 parishes that comprise New Orleans, has opened the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, which will offer emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill, and address the long-term economic, environmental, and cultural effects of the disaster.

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana's mission is to help restore and protect a sustainable coastal Louisiana. They are accepting volunteers and support to assist with spill recovery efforts.

The Gulf Coast states likely to be affected have also set up sites where information about volunteering can be found: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Gulf Coast Fund has created special emergency grants in response to the oil disaster. The organization is distributing these grants to registered non-profit groups engaged in community-lead responses to this crisis. Call 212-812-4361.

Save Our Gulf is a campaign by the Waterkeeper Alliance to support and coordinate efforts to protect the Gulf Coast. Their fund supports Waterkeepers from Texas to Florida who are working to hold back this oil spill from their waterways and communities.

The First Response Team of America
is working with the National Guard in Southern Louisiana to build dams to hold back the oil from the fragile coastal habitats.

Thanks for taking the time to think about how to help the Gulf.


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