Become a Volunteer and a Hero for the Gulf
This blog post was written by Tammy Herrington, Deputy Director of the Mobile Baykeeper. Mobile Baykeeper works strongly with south Alabama residents interested in protecting the Mobile Bay including how to document impacts from the BP oil disaster.
Although it seems that national media has forgotten the BP Oil Disaster and the people it continues to effect, there are still efforts being made to record the full extent of the oil’s impacts. In coastal Alabama, Mobile Baykeeper and its partner Alabama Coastal Foundation, continue to train concerned citizens to document impacts in an effort to keep a true record of how much oil continues to come ashore.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a resident of the Gulf Coast or go through a rigorous training to get involved. Anyone can make a difference in documenting the true impacts of this disaster. Whether you are a local citizen or taking a trip to the Gulf Coast, you can record your findings at www.saveourgulf.org. The site asks you to include a few key pieces of information like: GPS coordinates, weather conditions, descriptions of the location, land use, and what oil impacts are present. It also allows you to include as much detail as you’d like about your experiences through text boxes, photos and videos. Anyone can create a username on the website and generate one or 100 reports—whatever suits your needs—about anything that might be relevant.
Save Our Gulf, a partnership of seven coastal Waterkeepers from Texas to Florida, intends to record a comprehensive account of the oil impacts that have taken place as a result of the Gulf Oil Disaster. All reports and information submitted to the www.saveourgulf.org website will be used to inform the National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, and ultimately drive federal money back to restore the environment of the Gulf Coast for future generations. Without the participation of both visitors and local residents who observe their waterways regularly and over the long-term, this opportunity to give back to restore clean water to Gulf families and communities could be squandered.
The well may be capped and BP may be on its way out of town, but we learned from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill that the environmental effects of a catastrophe of this magnitude are felt with much more intensity over the long-term. Don’t let our voices go unheard. Whatever the impacts may look like—and wherever, whenever they show up—we want to be the first to know about them and the first to make sure something is being done to mitigate them. Join us today to become heroes of the Gulf - a group of committed volunteers who can serve as a vital and dependable first-line of defense, alerting others of threats to the health and safety of our waters and our coast.