MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

How You Can Help Gulf Animals Impacted By BP Oil Spill -- Or Why Can't We?

Sea turtle

National Wildlife Federation

Wildlife casualties in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are adding up. Numerous sea turtles, dolphins and migratory birds have died or are dying on gulf beaches. Sadly, this is just the beginning of the uphill battle for wildlife in the region.
Many people have wondered how they can help these animals. The National Wildlife Federation reports that they are on the front lines helping to assess damage and deploy resources to restore delicate nesting and breeding grounds. According to the National Wildlife Federation, you can donate money to their organization to "help protect the over 400 species of treasured wildlife that stand to lose so much from this devastating tragedy. Your support will go right to work protecting wildlife and wild places impacted by the BP oil spill disaster." You can learn more about NWF's Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund...

They are also helping coordinate the on-the-ground volunteer effort, including Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams, which are being deployed to monitor the coastline for wildlife in distress.

NWF also encourages you to speak up by telling your senators that now more than ever we need to pass comprehensive legislation that provides America with cleaner and safer energy choices.

If you live in the area and find injured wildlife, NWF advises NOT to attempt rescue yourself, but call the "Oiled Wildlife hotline" at 866-557-1401.

To learn more visit the National Wildlife Federation online at:

Coalition to Restore Louisiana
According to Connie Chan in her June 4, 2010 post on Yahoo! Green, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana maintains a list of volunteers prepared to help with wildlife recovery, monitoring and photographing oil movement, and providing boats and drivers for response activities. You can donate to Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana or register to volunteer. This is for registration only as they do not appear to actually be taking volunteers.


Connie Chan also mentions the following organizations in her story:

Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida
Ready to mobilize and provide appropriate care to injured or orphaned indigenous wildlife. You can find volunteer opportunities with Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida or donate.

The National Wildlife Federation Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams look for volunteers to track and report impacts of the oil spill, support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and restore damage to delicate coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. You can sign up with them to volunteer.
An article titled The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: How to Help in Take Part originally listed numerous organizations to volunteer with, but many of them appear to now be closed to volunteer sign up. I mention a few of the organizations here who apear to be the currently active wildlife organizations. Most emphasize that volunteers must be trained.   

International Bird Rescue and Research Center has sent a team of specialists to the region to help with any oiled wildlife. The center's site has a comprehensive Spill Response FAQ for those who want to learn how oiled birds are cleaned and treated, and answers to many other questions such as the survival rate of the affected birds. IBRRC says that  because BP has committed to paying for the clean-up and wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, "your donations cannot be used to fund bird rescue operations in the Gulf of Mexico spill." You can visit the IBRRC website to learn more here:  

National Audubon Society appears to be recruiting volunteers to be trained to respond to the oil spill. Register to volunteer here. Donations also are a way you can help.  

Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command The group is soliciting the public's ideas for stopping the flow of oil, containing or recovering it, or cleaning it up. Click here to submit your suggestion or call 281-366-5511  

Sierra Club has a sign up for volunteers who are Gulf Coast residents. Sign up online.

It is a mystery to me that with such a massive oil spill where the numbers of oiled, sick, and dying birds and wildlife are increasing with each passing day, and with so many willing volunteers, that volunteers are not being accepted by many organizations. I understand the need for trained volunteers. But people can be trained to help in such a dire emergency. It may be the only chance for these innocents coated in oil.

Is it that there is a liability concern because of the toxins in the oil and dispersants that volunteers will be exposed to? Is it BP not letting volunteers in? When I watch BP security guards on a public beach trying to stop a media person from interviewing workers, I can't help but wonder what it is that we the people don't know. What do you think the reasons are?

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook


retriever farm said...

Thanks Dawn!

Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life said...

You're welcome, Lisa. It was needed. Thank YOU for the inspiration to write this.