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. CRCL is joining with our partners at the local, state and federal level to begin registering volunteers to assist with spill recovery efforts.
We do not know the location or the extent of impact to birds, wildlife, and habitat at this time. What we do know is that we need to be ready with on-call volunteers in the event that they are needed. National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana are building a list of volunteers prepared to help with this response.
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. No specific training or experience is necessary, although you must be at least 18 years old to volunteer. Some tasks, such as food preparation, may require no training. Other tasks, such as washing oiled birds, may 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.
In addition, volunteers may need to be mobilized throughout the Gulf Coast if and when they are needed. Interested volunteers are asked to provide your:
· Description of any relevant experience
· Any certifications in dealing with wildlife and/or hazardous materials.
Once you have registered, we will contact you as soon as opportunities arise. 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.
Note: If you encounter oiled wildlife, please call 1 (800) 557-1401. Please do not touch or disturb oiled wildlife, for your safety and theirs.If you have any questions, please contact us by email at email@example.com