After our post yesterday touching on Learnvester questions about whether to cancel Florida vacations and how to volunteer, more of you wrote in, wanting even more info how to volunteer. You asked. And we researched. Read on...
It has been close to a month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th, yet the situation remains dire. According to President Obama, the current oil spill has already been the largest cleanup effort in U.S. history: Today, there are more than 21,400 citizens and members of the National Guard working to clean up the spill.
In Florida alone, over 1750 volunteers have volunteered to help with Coast Watch, pre-oil beach cleanups, fundraising, working as a member of a Community Emergency Response Team, a 211 operator, or a volunteer manager.
If you live outside the region, however don't pack your bags for Florida quite yet! The number of local volunteers seems to greatly outnumber the opportunities for volunteers now. You should identify a specific volunteer role before traveling to the Coast. First, call 1-866-448-5816 to see if there is an opportunity where your skills and the regions' needs align before traveling to the area. Volunteers with specific skill sets, regardless of region, are needed - we've bucketed those skills needed below by type.
If You Already Live Along The Gulf Coast.
If You Have Experience Handling Animals, Or Are In Veterinary Medicine.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has forged an application process for animal rehabilitation professionals or veterinarians to help with animal rescue efforts along the Gulf. Click here for an application to volunteer.
If You're An Academic.
Florida’s Oil Spill Academic Task Force is a coalition of Florida's academic institutions, scientists and scholars that assist local, state and federal agencies in oil spill relief. If you are a student or scholar in Florida state, check out their website for opportunities to lend your services.
If You Have Ideas For Feasible Technological Solution.
BP has established a process to review suggestions to stop or mitigate the flow of oil in the area, and over 7,800 ideas have been submitted to date. Submit your idea to help BP clean up here.
If Your Company Provides Equipment Or Services That Could Be Of Use At This Time.
Call (281) 366-5511 to speak to a representative who can register your services.
To Recap, Here's A List Of The Numbers You Can Call For More Information.
Register to volunteer: (866)-448-5816
Provide technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
Report oiled or injured wildlife: 1-866-557-1401
Report oil on land: 1-866-448-5816
To Keep Abreast Of What's Going On In The Gulf.
Check out The New York Times' excellent coverage of the oil spill, and/or follow the official, White House-endorsed information center on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.