If you want to go to the Gulf and help in the clean up effort, the answer may supprize you: Don’t. Many environmental groups say that there are plenty of vollunteers (currently 20,000 as well as 17,000 national guard,) and that having more show up on the beaches ready to work would be a step backwards for the clean up effort. Oil clean-up, is an inherrenly a difficult and risky endeavor. Only people with training are asked to help. The same advice goes for people who want to help the animals; Unlike other oil spills which happened close to shore, the BP spill was far off shore, and many animals that have been affected have not made it to shore altogether.
The most any one can do is take action against off shore drilling in general. By going to a rally, writing letters to the editor or your congressmen, or participating in debates with your friends and family, the very concept of our dependency on oil will come into question. That will put pressure on governments and companies around the world to look for renewable, safer, and cheaper (monetarily, environmentally, AND socially speaking,) forms of energy.
You can volunteer at an animal shelter that specially rescues animals from the oil spill or even at a regular animal shelter, because owners who have been directly affected by the oil spill can no longer take care of their pets sometimes.
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