Eco-Trips in the Age of Oil Spills: Cleanup Spots for Volunteers

Eco-Travel, New Orleans, Travel News — By John Curran on May 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

The rupture caused by a British Petroleum-backed rig in the Gulf of Mexico could lead to the largest oil spill in U.S. history, even outpacing the Exxon Valdez. Rather than worry about the prospect of reduced fishing, good seafood or even oil prices, we wanted to offer eco-minded volunteers ways to help.

Unfortunately, the oil has already washed up on shore in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. That means that there are a variety of groups trying to minimize the impact to wildlife. One organization, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, is looking to bring in a variety of people who can create booms of hair and other materials to block oil travel, reports the Center for American Progress. Others may be able to help wash oil-drenched wildlife or use local boats to monitor the effects of efforts in the area.

Other groups that are trying to coordinate cleanup and rescue efforts include the Audobon Society and These sites may make it easier for people who have a specific state where they would like to help, or simply want to be placed where they can do the most to help.

If you would like to go through the state’s, most have department of wildlife services that you can contact via government websites. Family and friends who live in nearby areas can also help point you in the right direction.

Even if you can’t make the trip, or don’t feel like packing rubber gloves for your next vacation, you can still donate to a variety of organizations in charge of local cleanups. You can also do a Gulf of Mexico-style “Locks of Love” donation by sending off old hair clippings, which can be used to capture oil as it spreads. It’s not a matter of how little you can do, but that you do it.

[Image: Alaska Department of Law]

Tags: center for american progress, Cleanups, ecotourism, green, gulf of mexico, oil spill

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