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. Nathan

    I was thinking of things that could help the clean-up of oil in the Gulf. I was thinking about activated carbon (the carbon used in water filters) and if it could be used in a way that could help. It is used to clean contaminants out of water anyways so maybe someone could devise a way to use it for the problem in the Gulf. It's manufactured for many things we use everyday and I was thinking it could be possible to use it for oil. I'm not a scientist but this was just a thought that I had.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. DonCameron

    Must we wait until August to stop the gusher? Why is BP allowed to have a no-fly zone over the Gulf? Why hasn't this country invested in technology and infrastructure that will help end our addicition to oil? We want answers, action, and transparency. Let's show them we want it now!

    June 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    I'm deeply sorry for "ALL" in the Gulf Region. I wish BP would at least try the "HAY" to help soak up the oil it was proven to work. Millions of Bails could be shot out on the ocean and waves will help distribute it. Then burn hay, PLEASE TRY THIS

    June 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      so agree !!!! .... at least give it a try !

      June 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. katnstl

    This is the pelicans living nightmare.... this is the nightmare us humans created....

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/caught_in_the_oil.html

    June 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ashley

    We can make huge planes fly, build bombs that blow up countries, and supposedly put man on the moon-- but yet we can't stop this leak of oil ?? Come on !!!! Its about time it stopped !! I wish I could make the people who are dragging this on and on take a bath in oil and drink water with an oil slick ...... bet they wouldn't be sitting too much longer !!!

    June 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    My sincerest prayers are with you and yours and please know that the rest of America shares in your frustration, outrage, grief and anger at what has been destroyed, stolen, killed and taken away from you and your loved ones. My family and I will donate what small amount we can, but we know it's never ever going to be enough. But we hope that you will see that you are not alone and that together, we as Americans (not the government, nor BP, especially) will not forget you! Have faith in your inner strength and go forward. We are with you!

    June 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Margaret

    Another way to help is to contribute to the United States Humane Society. Check their web site at http://www.humanesociety.org/news/gulf_oil_spill_response.html for details on some of their work rescuing affected wildlife.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MrLanchester

    ..I FEEL THAT THE HUMAN RACE HAS NOW ENOUGH INTELLIGENCE TO BUILD TRAVELLING VEICHLES THAT ARE SELF-EFFICIANT,RELYING UPON THE TRAVELLING MOMENTUM THAT PROPELS THEM,WIND-TURBINES AND DYNAMOS,AND IN THE EMPTY ENGINE SPACE ,A LAZER HALOGEN ARCH-LIGHT SOLAR-POWERED-REFLECTOR UNIT,POWERED FROM JUST 3(THREE) SMALL RECHARAGEBLE WATCH BATTERIES...THEN I MIGHT JUST BUY ONE..BECAUSE UN-THANKED
    IF I AM GOING TO SPEND HEAPS OF DOLLARS PURCHASING A FORD OR SOMETHING JUST TO CAUSE MORE INVIRO-MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS...

    June 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MrLanchester

    ..IT IS NOT WHO THEY ARE,BUT WHAT THEY ARE THAT MAKES YOU ASK THE QUESTION...WHAT THE..F=%&..?
    WELL,THEY CERTAINLY HAVE A WHAT TO DO..(^_^)

    June 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Horace Anderson

    I would like to suggest an ideal for capping the oil escaping in the Gulf.

    I,m suggesting that a tent type membrane be made with a leather type sustance because it is very tough.
    Attach cables across it in a verticle position to support the presure from the well. A cable ring around the bottom
    with all the verticle ends connected to the ring around the bottom.

    Fasten the tent to the bottom of ocean floor ot to bottom of oil ridge.

    You must have the top open like an upside down hot air balloom.
    fasten a suction pipe to top of tent and vacuum oil to a tanker at top of ocean surface.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIKE 32

      There is to much volume and pressure to even think about that. Also it way to deep.

      June 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Melanie

    If you live in NY or Conn, you can sign up for wind power as an alternative energy source. It adds a few bucks to your monthly bill, but its worth it to not be part of the nationwide oil addition. Its so easy, you just sign up on ConEd's website.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Melanie

    here is the link to sign up for wind power http://conedsolutions.com/green_energy_products.html

    June 9, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bruce

    BP just want to "plug" for a while and reuse it. Why didn't they use high density concrete blocks (solid) to destroy the
    well. TOP KILL using "liquid" concrete is quite a stupid idea. We need something heavy enough.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. B Phillips

    Can they make a large rubber diaphragm to put over the hole then hook hoses to suck the oil out? If they start with Kevin Costner's machine, each day will help in the clean up effort. The hay to absorb the oil can be burned in a large landfill type hole? The burning should be less toxic than the damage done to the shoreline, marshes, wildlife, etc. I keep hearing excuses of why things can't work but if all of the recommendations were started, then things may be a little better – better than nothing at all being done. I think it is prof that all those brilliant minds cannot get anything done. Soon, God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    We stuff the leaking pipe with BP executives until it finally gags and ceases to spew.

    If we run short on material (BP execs), we next harvest deciders from other oil companies, followed by politicians who have accepted money from the oil industry.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
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