Center focuses public interest
Donations will rebuild habitats.
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010 14:09
MOSS POINT, Miss. — Oiled birds and turtles have been found on beaches along the Gulf in Louisiana and Mississippi. The animals that survive are taken to rehab centers for cleanup and recovery before being released into a safe environment.
Autopsies are performed on the less fortunate.
Volunteers and wildlife organizations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are monitoring the natural habitats along the Gulf Coast. The organizations have been monitoring effects of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill April 20 on shoreline habitats and fisheries.
Volunteers at the Gulf Volunteer Response Center in Moss Point, Miss., have been answering calls from people who want to help after the April oil spill and are unsure how. Volunteers said they have received hundreds of calls since the spill from people all over the United States.
People can donate by signing in to the online membership at the Audubon Society website or calling the response center directly.
"The money will be used to help rebuild local natural habitats," communication coordinator Finley Hewes said Aug. 16.
Hewes gives information to media when they call the center. The Gulf Volunteer Response Center is working with the Audubon Society to set up a place for people to call if they have questions about the oil spill in the Gulf. The volunteers give callers the option of making online monetary donations and provide phone numbers if an injured or oiled animal is found.
"People can donate by signing in to the online membership at the Audubon website or calling the response center directly. The money will be used to help rebuild local natural habitats," Hewes said.
Volunteers do not encourage people to go out and touch or handle any of the oil in the gulf.
"There are many organizations that are working to clean up the oil and they are more equipped to handle the oil," Hewes said.
"What's really tough is the number of people who want to help, but we just don't have the number of volunteers to answer the phones," volunteer Laura Wilfong said.
Hewes said he did not have the total number of volunteers at the center.
"I just hope nobody believes that the oil is truly gone," Hewes said.
He said it is going to take a long time to estimate the total damage of the oil.
"We still don't know what will happen to the wildlife habitats in the future. We have to do surveys to learn what effects the oil has caused," Hewes said.
For more information log on to www.audubon.org.