Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

How You Can Help With The Oil Spill Response

How You Can Help

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In the wake of the massive oil leak off the coast of Louisiana, many individuals and organizations are responding with offers of donations and manpower. Over a month has passed since the spill, and oil has begun to kill wildlife and wash ashore. The oil spill is already far larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident that spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil off the coast of Alaska.

Several wildlife organizations are moving teams into the region, and BP—which was leasing the now-sunken oil rig—has activated a hotline for those wishing to offer assistance.

Listed below are ways to help. We will update as opportunities develop.

  • To report oiled wildlife, please call 1-866-557-1401.

  • To discuss oil related damage, please call 1-800-440-0858.

  • To report oiled shoreline or to request volunteer information, please call 1-866-448-5816. This is the BP Community Support Team Hotline, which is being used as a hub by nonprofit organizations to coordinate volunteer inquiries. Leave a message with your contact information and your questions about how to help or information on oiled shoreline.

  • National Wildlife Federation is working with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana to coordinate volunteer efforts in southern Louisiana. You can register to volunteer with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana here. They are looking specifically for people with HAZWOPER training, or experience operating boats, handling wildlife, or photographing or monitoring oil movement. The National Wildlife Federation is also encouraging anyone looking to lend a hand to visit its website. It offers a variety of ways to help from volunteering to online advocacy, and is asking people to contact their senators to demand legislation for cleaner and safer energy choices. NWF is also accepting donations via mobile device. Text “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to donate $10 to help wildlife affected by the spill.

  • International Bird Rescue and Research Center has sent a team of specialists to the region to help with any oiled wildlife. The center’s site has a comprehensive Spill Response FAQ for those who want to help clean and treat oiled birds. They ask anyone who has spotted oiled wildlife to call the Wildlife Reporting Hotline at 866-557-1401. It is important to note that oiled birds should NOT be captured, but reported using the hotline.

  • National Audubon Society is recruiting volunteers to be trained to respond to the oil spill. The group is also encouraging the public to contact the Interior Department and ask it to halt the expansion of offshore oil drilling in the eastern United States. Register to volunteer here.

  • is also coordinating volunteer efforts in the Gulf Coast region. Register here.

  • Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is asking interested volunteers to contact Alabama 211 at 1-866-421-1266.

  • Mobile Baykeeper is asking interested volunteers to contact them at 251-433-4229 or e-mail and provide a name, address, phone number, e-mail, and available resources such as boats. They don’t need volunteers at the moment, but they are collecting names and will be in touch when they have a better assessment of the needs.

  • The Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board is connecting BP with fishermen willing to help with the cleanup effort. If you have a boat and are able to help, contact 281-366-5511 or

  • Save Our Seabirds is a Florida bird rescue group that is looking for volunteers and donations as its response team prepares to help wildlife affected by the spill. Donate through the Save Our Seabirds site or register to volunteer.

  • The Greater New Orleans Foundation has set up the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund to help with cleanup and environmental protection efforts. To learn more about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, please call Josephine Everly at (504)598-4663 or

  • Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, the largest wild bird hospital in the U.S., has 300 trained staff members on call to help with the response. They are also organizing volunteers and supply donations. They are in need of linens, kennels, towels, sheets, Dawn detergent, paper towels, bottled water and gatoraid.  Items can be dropped off at the sanctuary at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida.  For a complete list and more information, please see or call 727-391-6211 for more information. To volunteer, please email or call 727-392-4291.

  • Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research has been asked to oversee the wildlife rehabilitation response along the gulf coast and is working closely with many collaborating organizations. They are calling for donations to help.

  • Louisiana Bucket Brigade has produced an Oil Spill Crisis Map that lets Gulf Coast residents report endangered wildlife, oil on shores, health impacts, and other problems from the oil spill. They are calling on citizen journalists to report any information by submitting it through the site, texting (504) 27 27 OIL, sending an email to, or through Twitterusing  the hashtag #BPspillmap.

  • Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command is soliciting the public’s help in monitoring the 1.2 million feet of boom that have been deployed throughout the Gulf. To report an incident, call 1-866-448-5816. In addition, the group is soliciting the public’s ideas for stopping the flow of oil, containing or recovering it, or cleaning it up. Click here to submit your suggestion or call 281-366-5511.

  • Oxfam America is working to help vulnerable communities affected by the spill. A tax-deductible donation can be made here.

  • Sierra Club is gathering volunteers to help with the cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast. Sign up online to volunteer and Sierra Club will place you with an opportunity.

Until contacted by any of these organizations, would-be volunteers should steer clear of affected areas so as not to interfere with current cleanup efforts. Again, if you find oiled wildlife, don’t try to rescue the animals yourself; report them to the Wildlife Reporting Hotline at 866-557-1401.

New iPhone Application To Help Report Oiled Wildlife in Gulf!

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