Help wildlife on the Gulf Coast

Oil Slick from Space

Photo Courtesy of NASA/MODIS Response Team via Gulf Restoration Network

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the British Petroleum oil rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting oil slick is potentially the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States. The oil, which continues to pump into the sea, threatens migrating birds, nesting brown pelicans and even river otters and mink along Louisiana’s fragile islands and barrier marshes.

Spill timing makes action urgent

GULF of MEXICO - Shrimp boats tow fire-resistant oil-containment boom as their crews conduct in situ burn training off the coast of Venice, La., May 3, 2010. The training is designed to help the local fisherman prepare to assist with possible future in situ burn operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley

Despite valiant efforts by The US Coast Guard to prevent the spread of oil, the slick will reach land as soon as today.

“For birds, the timing could not be worse; they are breeding and nesting and are especially vulnerable in many of the places where the oil could come ashore.  We have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, including a true catastrophe for birds,” Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for the Louisiana Coastal Initiative, told CNN.

Energy giant British Petroleum has vowed to pay “all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs.” But groups in the area need your help now to protect and clean the delicate eco-system, and save the lives of thousands of migrating birds and wildlife.

How you can help

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is focusing on national wildlife refuges on a chain of barrier islands, but it will take the dedicated work of nonprofits to make a difference on the ground. Your donation can help nonprofits save the recently de-listed Brown Pelican, or monitor precious marshland.

Some donors and nonprofits are getting creative in helping defend the coast. The Huffington Post and The New York Times report that volunteers are learning to make homemade oil booms by stuffing nylons with hair and fur donated by salons, groomers, and hosiery companies nationwide donated. Hundreds of tons of naturally absorbent human hair and animal fur combined with tens of thousands of pairs of remainder nylons are one of the most inventive ways groups are attempting to limit the impact of the massive Gulf Coast oil spill.

Unneeded hair and fur can be sent to Matter of Trust’s headquarters. You can organize a “hair-raising” event to collect donations or speak to locate hair stylists and pet groomers about sending in the leftover hair and fur.

Here are groups working in the region that you can help with your donation or volunteer time:

For more information about this national emergency:

Visit us on Facebook and let us know about other groups working in the Gulf, or to show your support for wildlife and natural places.

Getting married? Need a gift for your wedding? Support the efforts to protect the Gulf by using I Do Foundation.

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