5 Ways You Can Help Animal Victims Gulf Oil Spill

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded and began spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico at an alarming rate, polluting the habitat of hundreds of species. More than 1,500 affected birds, sea turtles and other mammals had been collected as of late June, according to Deepwater Horizon Response. Although this number may seem relatively low considering the circumstances, most experts agree many more wildlife animals have perished or are injured and waiting to be rescued. David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), believes we've only just begun to see the effects the oil will have for the animals that call the Gulf home or migrate there each year.

People across the United States are understandably angry, frustrated and sad at the toll this disaster is taking on the nation's wildlife and fragile wetland ecosystem. Although the Gulf borders only a few of the country's Southern states, what's happening there is a national tragedy, and the effects will be felt from the Louisiana shores all the way to the Arctic Circle for years to come. So, how can you help? There is still a lot of confusion surrounding the best way to help affected wildlife, but we've found five things you can do to make a difference regardless of where you live.