The Gulf Still Needs Your Help: Get Involved With The Recovery
Thursday, July 29, will mark the 100-day anniversary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf Coast. There is no word yet on whether the temporary cap will continue to be effective in damming the flow of oil, and Tuesday's headlines saw another oil spill -- caused by a tow boat accident in a nearby bay -- that may impede cleanup efforts on the larger front. Considered to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, the crisis has prompted a wave of recovery and restoration efforts, most of which focus not only on immediate relief, but on future solutions as well.
HuffPost Impact has compiled a list of ways you can help contribute to the cleanup and save local wildlife. Thanks to CrisisWiki for their diligence in compiling much of this information.
•Global Green has spent the past few months working to enable greater media access, provide assistance to local fishing communities, protect injured wildlife and to lobby Congress to enforce tougher regulations on the oil and coal industries. Volunteer with Global Green or donate to their 100x100 campaign -- $100 to mark 100 days -- to support these efforts.
•Mobile Baykeeper, an affiliate of Waterkeeper Alliance, is dedicating resources to educate potential volunteers on how to help and address the long-term environmental change needed in the Gulf region. Make a donation to these efforts.
•The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has dedicated their resources to aiding the environment, wildlife and citizens of the Gulf region. Through August 5, for every dollar you donate to EDF, supporters Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham will donate two dollars, until they reach their $100,000 goal. The EDF proposes to encourage Congress to finish all restoration projects for which money has been set aside.
•CrisisCamp's April 30 conference call compiled information about potential relief efforts -- review the meeting notes, containing volunteer information with nonprofits and information from government organizations. You can also continue to follow the CrisisCamp oil spill Twitter list for updates.
•The National Wildlife Federation has set up mobile giving services to support their work in the Gulf Coast. Donors can send a text message with the code "WILDLIFE" to 20222 to automatically give a $10 donation to help wildlife affected by the oil spill.
•The International Bird Rescue Research Center has deployed a professional rescue team to the Gulf Coast to help birds covered in oil. Though they are not accepting volunteers at this time, you can help by making a donation to support their ongoing wildfowl rehabilitation efforts or by adopting a bird through their website.
Support For Gulf Citizens
•The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) has set up a fund to benefit Gulf fishermen and their families in the parishes of Plaquemines, St. Bernard, lower Jefferson, Terrebonne, and Lafourche. GNOF funds also support equipment and training for volunteers and the Louisiana SPCA to take care of pets that many families can no longer afford to care for.
•Oxfam America is working to help affected communities with financial assistance, as well as protect local wetlands and marshes. Make a tax-deductible donation to Oxfam America.
•Go to the Gulf! Businesses from Louisiana to Florida are hurting due to a lack of tourism. Put money back into the local economy -- SouthCoastUSA has resources from all Gulf states to help plan a trip to the region.
•Give BP a call. Numbers are listed for their offices throughout the United States. The BP Volunteer Hotline has also set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can request volunteer information at 1-866-448-5816.
•Oceana's goal is to reach 500,000 names on a petition to stop offshore drilling permanently. A map on their website displays how much the oil has spread across the Gulf as well as the location of wildlife in relation to the spill.
•Petition sites are packed with letters to politicians that you can sign on to. Care2's The Petition Site, aiming to encourage President Obama to reconsider his plan to expand offshore drilling and instead invest in clean energy resources, has surpassed their goal of 10,000 signatures, but is still encouraging citizens to add their voice to the cause. A similar petition can be found on TrueMajority.org.
•Join the Facebook group 1 Million Strong Against Offshore Drilling. Check out the action page for more suggestions of how to lend your voice to the anti-drilling movement, and invite 100 of your friends to join as well.
•If you want to do more after writing to your representatives, you can always boycott BP products. The main ones you use? Arco and ampm. If Americans stopped buying gas and products from these places, they'd feel it.