What You Can Do To Help In The Gulf Even If You Cannot Make It There **Updated**
CNN put together this wonderful list of things that you can do to help if you are unable to go to the Gulf and physically help.
Adopt a pelican It is heart-wrenching to watch birds drenched with oil. The International Bird Rescue Research Center, which picks up oiled birds, cleans and rehabilitates them, is asking for support for its 23-member team of bird-rescue experts.
The organization allows individuals to donate or adopt a bird. Adopting a pelican, for example, costs $200, which will go to the cost of raising and eventually releasing the bird.
The organization’s team is working with the Tri-State Bird Rescue, setting up rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Birds that are cleaned –it takes almost an hour to clean a single oiled pelican – and rehabilitated are then released in oil-free areas chosen by federal and state trustee agency personnel and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. The Tri-State Bird Rescueis also taking donations and adoptions.
Tweet, blog, update The National Wildlife Federation is asking for support from those who aren’t able to volunteer or donate by spreading their cause via social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
For example, they are asking Twitter users to tweet and retweet messages with the#NWF tag. There is a Facebook fan page, and users can support the Wildlife Federation by setting up a “birthday cause.” Instead of getting presents from friends, you can direct them to donate to the organization of choice.
The organization also has created web banners that blog users can embed on their sites that will take readers to the wildlife federation website, which urges readers to volunteer or donate.
Each $10 donation will go toward dispatching teams to monitor the coast for wildlife hurt by the spill, restoring nesting grounds, public education and policy work.
Donate to help fishermen and the Louisiana seafood industry Protectourcoastline.org is asking for donations to help families and businesses in the Gulf most affected by the disaster. With more than 30 percent of the waters closed to fishing, the site claims that a good portion of the fishing industry will be affected.
All donations will go to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board, and the America’s WETLAND Foundation, which heads the “Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana” project.
Write a letter Donations aside, the Audubon Action Center is asking for people to write to their senators and members of Congress to support President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget, which includes $35.6 million for larger coastal restoration projects. The site has a suggested letter that can be edited and sent out.
Part of it states: “We have an opportunity to create jobs, work to mitigate the impacts of this tragic oil spill, and again rebuild the critical coastal marshlands that nurture a significant Gulf of Mexico fishing industry, and buffer the Louisiana coast and its communities from storms and other threats.”
Donate hair Matter of Trust, a nonprofit organization that looks at how to recycle surplus materials such as hair, is asking for salons, pet owners, farmers and “hairy people,” to donate their locks, fur, fleece, feathers, nylons and such.
These fibers, the company says, are efficient materials for collecting and containing oil spills. Collected fibers are stuffed into recycled nylons and covered in mesh to make booms. “Every type of hair is fine (straight, curly, all colors, dyed, permed, straightened...) but only head hair,” the organization’s website says.
Leave a word of condolence While all are focused on containment and cleanup efforts, there were lives lost in this disaster. Eleven workers died in the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon on April 20. Transocean has a condolence pageon its website for people to leave memories and photos to remember those who died.
Remember that this disaster is not over when the well is capped. The oil will be coming ashore for months and months even after the oil has stopped gushing into the Gulf. There will be a great need for help, so do what you can, even if it means just spreading the word. We are facing an ecological and economic nightmare that will affect many. Our country, our people, our wildlife & sea life and our environment need all the help they can get.
**Updated** More information on ways you can help (I will update this whenever I get new information on ways to help):
•Anyone in theMississippiarea can contactthe city of Biloxiand leave contact information through an online form. Volunteers will be notified as soon as opportunities to help have been organized.
• Matter of Trust is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that’s been accepting donations of debris-free pet fur and human hair since 1998 to craft oil-absorbing hairmats. Their website offers instructions for hair donors.
•The Alabama Coastal Foundation is currently accepting donations for clean-up efforts at their website, JoinACF.org. Volunteers should send their contact information including name, e-mail address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
•Mobile Baykeeper says the best way to help now — before the oil hits the shoreline — is by picking up litter and debris. “If you can get to your favorite shoreline today or tomorrow you can help speed up the clean up process,” officials said. Volunteers will be trained and organized for the cleanup process in the days and weeks to follow; call (251) 433-4229 to sign up.
•The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has joined with partners on the local, state and federal level to start registering volunteers. Sign up at CRCL.org.
This link takes you to a page that has a listing of charities & their ratings as links to them for additional ways to help: Charity Navigator