One of the worst economic and environmental disasters the country has ever experienced may be on its way throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Hopefully efforts being made to stop the oil spill will stop any more damage from occurring..
Whatever happens, Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast and Tampa Bay are bracing for the worst. Since April 20th oil has been gushing out of a well drilled by British Petroleum products at the rate of 200,000 gallons a day, and nothing has been able to stop it.
At this time it is not certain which of the Gulf of Mexico communities will be affected by the spreading oil, but there is a great possibility that the beautiful Gulf beaches and Tampa Bay may be in its path. Florida Governor Charlie Crist has already declared the area an emergency.
Agencies are already suggesting ways citizens can help. Money and gift cards are always welcome and human volunteers are greatly needed.
However there are some unusual and low tech items volunteer agencies are requesting that have proved valuable in sopping up oil.
Freshly washed and rinsed pet or human hair…. Clean hair is an oil magnet which can be woven into brooms and mats.
Wool fiber from sheep farmers, or used wool clothing…. Wool, like hair absorbs oil.
Panty hose (used but washed) which can be used to create a boom or sponge stuffed with hair or absorbent fiber like wool
Basic Blue Dawn dishwashing detergent….Basic Blue Dawn is gentle and repels and suspends grease on bird wild life. The other varieties could be harmful to wildlife.
Brushes…Soft bristled to remove grease from the birds, and hard bristled to clean the cages.
Clean T shirts for rescuers to change into. Sitting around with crude oil on their clothes is unhealthy and dangerous.
Local Agencies need volunteers.
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary needs helpers for injured birds and coastal cleanups….linens, sheets, towels pet carriers, kennels, pet carriers and any of the articles listed above. For information call 727-391-6211 or visit www.seabirdsanctuary.com
Save Our Seabirds Inc .needs sheets, towels and volunteers. Call 941-388-3010 or visit www.saveourseabirds.org.
Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota needs volunteers for cleanup. Go to www.mote.org
To report an oiled shoreline or request volunteer information… call 866-448-5816.
To submit technologies, products or services that can help with the cleanup call 281-366-5511.
Everyone can do something to save our beautiful Gulf of Mexico…. its wildlife and its beaches.
St. Pete Times
Bay news 9.com