FAQ: Gulf Oil Spill

The April 20 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform was a tragedy on many levels.  Not only were lives lost and people injured, but the impacts of the oil seepage continue to wreak havoc on marine animals, ecosystems and the livelihoods of area residents and local fisherman.  In the wake of this tragedy, CFACT recently launched its emergency Gulf Cleanup Campaign to mobilize and educate citizens about what they can do to assist in habitat restoration, animal rescue and economic recovery.

What is CFACT doing to protect the Gulf Coast?

CFACT is mobilizing its broad network of citizen supporters to volunteer, educate others, and donate their money to help Gulf residents cope with this unfortunate disaster .  The Committee has  already set up a special task force of staff members from its national organization and college students drawn from its Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow sister group which will be heading to the Gulf region in the coming weeks to assist local efforts with added manpower.  In addition, CFACT is speaking out on the ramifications of this oil spill by educating members of academia, the media, and the public, as well as our political leaders in Washington about the importance of off-shore oil drilling, energy security, and responsible environmental stewardship.

How can I participate?

There are several important things you can do right away to assist with CFACT’s Emergency Gulf Relief campaign.  These include:

  1. Sign up to get information updates on the latest news regarding the Louisiana oil spill and CFACT’s Emergency Relief campaign.
  2. Donate to assist CFACT’s efforts to protect the Gulf coastline and promote conservation.
  3. When you sign up, indicate if you’re interested in becoming a cleanup volunteer or part of a local surveillance team.
  4. Support energy policies that will keep America energy independent – help spread the campaign online through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Will I be exposed to toxic chemicals if I volunteer?

Volunteers may potentially come into contact with items and debris that is considered toxic.  All volunteers should receive some training in handling hazardous materials before undertaking any cleanup effort.  CFACT will be posting training workshops organized by the Deep Water Horizon cleanup campaign that are available to the public in the coming days ahead. 

How can I receive specialized training as a volunteer?

If you are interested in receiving specialized training to help with the cleanup, please register at www.volunteerlouisiana.gov or call 1-866-448-5816 for information on any volunteer opportunities as they are identified.  Volunteers must register before participating in any oil spill response. You must be at least 18 years old, able to follow both written and oral directions, and meet both the training and physical requirements for the role you would fill.

Possible roles for registered and trained volunteers might include:

·    Shoreline Monitor
·    Donations Management
·    Wildlife Marker/sitter
·    Facility and Site Maintenance
·    Transportation Assistant
·    Administrative and Support
·    Pre-impact Beach Cleanup
·    Positions at the Command Post or Volunteer Reception Center
·    Light construction

How do I report the sighting of an oiled shoreline?

If you see an incident where you think oil has reached the shoreline in your community, please contact the BP Deep Water Horizon response hotline at 866-448-5816 immediately to report your information.

What should I do if I encounter oil-contaminated wildlife?

If you should find any wild animals, birds, or marine life covered in oil, do not attempt to assist them.  Such rescue efforts should properly be done by trained professionals.  Instead, please call the Oiled Wildlife hotline established by BP at (866) 557-1401.

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About the Author: CFACT

CFACT defends the environment and human welfare through facts, news, and analysis.