Gulf oil spill clean-up: how you can help

With the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig now potentially leaking 25,000 barrels of oil a day, and a projected clean-up cost of $5 billion, the thought that you may be able to help with this environmental and economic disaster may seem far-fetched. Yet numerous non-profits have mobilized in the face of this emergency, and they need your help. Some of the things you can do to support clean-up efforts:

  • Volunteer: Many groups are enlisting volunteers to contribute to clean-up efforts. If you’d like to lend a hand directly, you can sign up with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, The Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society,  and Mobile Baykeeper. Obviously, these are just a few of the organizations looking for volunteers… several Facebook groups, and at least one website, have sprung up to coordinate these efforts.

  • Spread the news: Once again, we’re seeing how social media can be an incredibly effective tool in spreading the word… both about the disaster itself, and ways to help. If you can’t get to the Gulf Coast yourself, use your blog, Twitter account (the hastag #oilspill seems to be pretty popular), Facebook page, and/or other social media service to spread the word on these efforts. The Sierra Club has listed blogging as a volunteer option.

  • Reach out to your political representatives: Whether it involves demanding accountability from oil company BP, or pressing for greater support for clean energy options, your representatives need to know that you’re concerned about this disaster. It’s not too early to make this one of the big issues for the 2010 election. makes it easy to find your congressional representatives.

  • Donate: This may be a distasteful option for some… shouldn’t BP shoulder the costs? Hopefully, they will, but the organizations listed above, and others, need financial support now… consider helping them out.

No doubt I’ve just scratched the surface on ways to help… please share any opportunities for contributing to clean-up efforts with us in the comments.

Photo: U.S. Environmental Services workers in Venice, LA Credit: / CC BY 2.0