June 4th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

How to help Gulf oil disaster, even if you can't make it there

Workers clean an oiled pelican recovered from a barrier island off the Louisiana coast.

Can’t go down to the Gulf Coast to help out with oil spill cleanup? Here are some ways you can be an armchair volunteer following the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.

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 Rescue is 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.”

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 page on its website for people to leave memories and photos to remember those who died.

Check out other ways to help with the Gulf oil disaster and explore more ways to Impact Your World

soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Marc

    BP spent 2 billion so far? Oh boo hoo. In the 60 plus days of this disaster, the US has spent over 30 Billion rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. When BP and the feds match this number, I'll be satisfied that we are doing all we can to clean up our own gulf.

    June 21, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Peter North

    This sucks, but keep in mind that no one wanted this to happen. They key now is for everyone to work to shut the thing off and have BP pay for the clean up. What we DON'T need is Congress grandstanding.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jim beam

    Why Should I help BP's mistake. If anything they should help me by lowering the oil prices. $3 a gallon is pillage. I get milk from the store for that price.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sarkis Derkaloustian

    Is it possible to dig another hole parallel to the damaged and drop a bomb close to the damages hole?

    June 21, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. not an idiot

    why should i help? what's in it for me? only an IDIOT would help a billion dollar company. no thank you. i am not mr. stupid.

    July 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Murray O'Connor

    Even way up here in Canada, we follow the oil spill news daily and hope for a solution. It's hard to believe that greed is so strong that safety procedures and numerous contingecies are not worked out ahead of a problem before it happens. Did no one in the BP industry not know that a well could leak and have a back-up plan in place and not have to prepare for one after the disaster?

    July 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hopeful

    Does anyone have the address to send stockings to?

    July 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. philip

    strong and durable pipes shud be used

    July 27, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pouya Afshar

    Death of a gas guzzler:


    March 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mobile Money Machines ie

    Hey, I get a 504 Gateway Timeout HTTP status code when I view this site. This usually means the server did not receive a response. I thought yuo may want to know. Thanks Jim

    October 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Binary Options Trading System STRIKER9

    How's things, I see a 504 Gateway Timeout error when I browse your page. This usually indicates the webhost did not get a response. I thought yuo may like to know. Regards Mike

    November 1, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mobile Money Machines eu

    What's up, I get a 504 Gateway Timeout error when I browse this page. This usually indicates the host did not get a response. I figured yuo may want to know. Best wishes Jim

    November 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6