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Monday, June 14, 2010

Blog about the BP Oil Spill & our trip down there

Upon hearing about the landfall of oil upon our Alabama shores last week, David and I could not stand it... we could not just sit here, worrying about our coast and our wildlife.  We had to get down there and observe what was going on first hand, and see if there was any productive volunteering we could do.

Unfortunately to do any of the more "productive" roles they funnel you through BP and you have to be trained even just to volunteer, especially when pertaining to the wildlife.  I signed up with the ACF but it takes days to process the sheer # of interested party sign-ups during this time so we didn't hear from them (until after we got back home). So instead we opted to go down and spot and report independently.

And, that we did.  We walked up and down the beaches all along Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, ocean and bay sides... went as far down as the Perdido pass and on to the resort area on into Florida to see what we could.  Now that we are back, the most I can do is share what I saw with anyone who might look, so here are my photos: 
Pick one of these for your viewing preference - Facebook or Myspace
or Webshots

The fine folks of the Ravelry Editors community  reminded me that there could be a useful application of wool sweaters for oiled birds; as was proven in past oil spills, these help to soak up some of the oil, as well as preventing the birds from preening, and ingesting the toxins.  I have submitted this offering to the officials and am awaiting hearing back from them, if they do find the need.  In the past it was penguins which may wear sweaters better but we'll see.  I will also inquire with other independent organizations as I feel they would be more receptive (it seems to me that BP refuses more help than they accept).  BP seem to have everything funneled through a choke point, but I believe that the Louisiana Humane Society, ASPCA, or Louisiana’s Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary will be worthy of an ask.

BP's Where can I find the status of a beach:

Alabama Dept of Public Health:  If you come in contact with oil, just wash it off and watch to make sure a rash doesn't follow.  Most people will not be exposed to enough dispersants to be affected.

National Weather Service Deepwater Horizon Page for daily and hourly forecasts, winds and currents.

NOAA's Daily Trajectory Maps

Deepwater Horizion's Interactive Online Mapping Tool

Nasa Imagery of Oil Spill

Live feed of all eleven cameras on the ocean floor