Oil Spill - 5 Simple Ways to Help

Tar balls sitting on the beach in Perdido Key, Fla. Taken on 7/2/10, via The Huffington Post.

There are many lists of ways to help with the Gulf Coast oil spill out there, but this is an issue we feel so strongly about that we wanted to create our own list by compiling information from multiple sources we trust. Though the images can leave a terrible taste in our mouths, they're a reminder (especially to those of us removed from the affected areas) that the aftermath of the spill is only worsening, and to motivate us to act now. 

1) Stay informed.
- Join NYT's Gulf Coast Oil Spill News Facebook Page and get news updates with their feed.
- Check out Surfrider Foundation and partners' Oil Spill Tracker and see what's happening where.
- Take a look at interactive mapping functions and informational diagrams at CNN and NYT.

Oily waves come ashore in Orange Beach, Ala.. Taken on 6/30/10, via The Huffington Post.

2) Voice your opinions.
- Oceana urges us to write our senators about offshore drilling.
- Send a message to your senators about passing energy legislation to prevent future oil spills through NRDC.
- Find your lawmakers at www.congress.org and write them yourself. Planet Green has great tips to keep in mind when writing your letter.

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. 
Taken 6/7/10, via The Huffington Post.

3) Make a donation.
NRDC's Gulf Coast Recovery Fund goes directly to help the people, wildlife, and areas affected by the spill.
- National Wildlife Rescue's Wildlife Emergency Fund allows them to track and report impacts of the spill, and support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
- Matter of Trust is taking donations of hair and fur from salons to make oil-absorbing booms, and monetary donations. They're also looking for volunteers to help make the booms.
- National Audubon is working to help birds already affected by the oil, protect unharmed wildlife, and restore the Gulf Coast ecosystem in the long run.

4) Report affected areas and wildlife.
- Submit a report through the Oil Spill Tracker.
- Report to Deepwater Horizon Response - call (866) 448-5816 to report an oiled shoreline and (866) 557-1401 for oiled wildlife.

5) Spread the word! his is a long term problem, and it'll need ongoing attention and assistance. With all the social outlets available at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to connect with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even acquaintances on this issue, and offer them ways to help.

We would love to hear from you other solutions and ways to make this unfortunate event better!


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