Unless you're a trained wildlife professional, it will be nearly impossible to assist directly in the recovery and rehabilitation of oiled animals, but this doesn't mean there aren't other opportunities to get active in the cause. Many rescue organizations need help with administrative duties and other essential tasks. Currently, all clean-up and rescue operations are being overseen by a Unified Command Center comprised of BP, Transocean, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 12 other government agencies. Interested volunteers must submit a form at the state level using one of the links below.
- Louisiana: http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/
- Florida: http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/
In addition, the NWF is working to establish Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams, comprised of volunteers who are trained by the NWF to scout the coastline and marshes for oiled animals and report findings back to rescue groups. Mizejewski says, "every single animal counts," and with so many endangered species inhabiting the Gulf, it's even more important to support rescue and rehabilitation efforts to save and protect the region's wildlife.