Volunteers Interested in Assisting in Oil Clean-Up in Louisiana Should Sign Up and Stand By
(April 30, 2010) The oil spill off the mouth of the Mississippi River has been declared a “spill of national significance,” and threatens damage to the Gulf Coast—perhaps for months to come. With the first wave of the oil slick expected to impact coastal Louisiana as early as Thursday evening, Governor Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency. The National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana are joining forces to begin signing up volunteers to assist in local, state and federal recovery efforts as needs arise..
Although we do not know the location or the extent of impact to birds, wildlife, and habitat at this time, we do know is that we need to be ready with on-call volunteers in the event that they are needed. Volunteers can fill a variety of needs, from oiled wildlife recovery, to monitoring and photographing oil movement, to providing a boat and driver for response activities. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old; otherwise, the need for training and special skills varies greatly. Some tasks, such as food preparation, may require no training. Other tasks, such as washing oiled birds, require specific certifications or skills. We encourage pre-veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and anyone with HAZWOPER training to volunteer. Anyone with experience in dealing with wildlife handling, rehabilitation, or hazardous materials clean up is also strongly encouraged to register.
Interested volunteers should register via the link above. The severity of this spill may require a long-term and ongoing response, so if you don’t hear from us immediately, it doesn’t mean you won’t be contacted or that your efforts won’t be needed. With your help, we can meet this challenge and reduce the impacts of this spill to habitat and wildlife.
Until called, it is important for would-be volunteers to avoid affected areas and interference with initial response efforts. Note: If you encounter oiled wildlife, please call 1 (866) 557-1401. Please do not touch or disturb oiled wildlife, for your safety and theirs.
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