Looking for ways to help in the Gulf Coast following last week's oil spill? Here are some organizations that need your help now (provided by Kansas.com):
- The Deepwater Horizon response team (www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/) is working to contain the spill and has laid down 217,000 feet of barrier. The team is asking coastal residents to report areas where oil can be seen from shore or to leave contact information if they wish to volunteer by calling 866-448-5816. Oiled animals should not be captured but should be reported at 866-557-1401.
- The National Audubon Society is coordinating its response with government officials to ensure a smooth process. Prospective volunteers who sign up through Audubon will be connected with state and federal agencies, Audubon leaders and other volunteer organizations that are in need of assistance. Visit www.audubon.organd click on the box linking you to the "Gulf Coast Disaster: How you can help."
- Many more organizations are not yet in action but are gathering information from volunteers. Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research (www.tristatebird.org/contact) is accepting volunteer signups by phone, mail or e-mail as the group prepares to rehabilitate affected animals. Call 302-737-9543 for more information.
- Anyone in the Mississippi area can contact the city of Biloxi (www.biloxi.ms.us/Volunteer.asp) and leave contact information through an online form. Volunteers will be notified as soon as opportunities to help have been organized.
- In Alabama, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (www.mobilebaynep.com) is collecting contact information from hopeful volunteers. Call 866-421-1266 to be added to their contact list, report oiled wildlife at 866-557-1401 and notify them of oiled shoreline at 866-448-5816. (Note: These contact numbers are the same as the Deepwater Horizon numbers.)
- The Alabama Coastal Foundation is currently accepting donations for clean-up efforts at their website, JoinACF.org. Volunteers should send their contact information including name, e-mail address and phone number to email@example.com.
- Mobile Baykeeper (www.mobilebaykeeper.org) says the best way to help now - before the oil hits the shoreline - is by picking up litter and debris. "If you can get to your favorite shoreline today or tomorrow you can help speed up the clean up process," officials said. Volunteers will be trained and organized for the cleanup process in the days and weeks to follow; call 251-433-4229 to sign up.
- The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has joined with partners on the local, state and federal level to start registering volunteers. Sign up at www.CRCL.org.