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    1 Month Since BP Oil Spill – What this Means & How Philadelphia Can Help

    Back in the day, I remember a Saved by the Bell Episode where Bayside started drilling for oil to get rich… and instead, Zack & co’s hearts were broken as Zack’s favorite duck Becky dies and the football field is ruined.  Lucky for Bayside, Zack makes a 2 minute presentation to the oil tycoons and they end the drilling because of his speech.

    Unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t have a Zack Morris.

    1 month ago today, BP had (arguably) the largest environmental disaster with its massive oil spill.

    Recap of what’s currently going on in the Gulf:

    • Currently, there’s 84,000 gallons of oil leaking into the Gulf every day.
    • BP never had a plan to combat a potential spill: “A recent USA Today article exposed an emergency response plan prepared by BP that showed the British energy giant never anticipated an oil spill as large as the one seeping through the Gulf of Mexico.” (ESPN Outdoors)
    • Similar to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the ‘people in charge’ mishandled their actions: Rather than sealing the leaky pipe, BP spent too much time trying to save their profits.
    • Wildlife threats: Endangered birds, fish, turtles, whales, dolphins, porpoises and much wildlife are threatened.  Here’s a full Q&A about the Wildlife effects.
    • Want oil with that spicy shrimp roll?  NOAA has suspended fishing in 19 percent of the Gulf (45,728 square miles).  That’s not a temporary problem… (Circle of life baby – we’re way more connected to the ocean than we think.)
    • Umm… did anyone research that toxic dispersant to break up the spill?!? Seriously?
    • Better yet, oil & chemicals affect plankton, which is the bottom of the marine food chain.  We can’t be certain of how long these effects will last.

    If you’re in Philly (aka not in the Gulf), it’s recommended to not travel there.  What can you do to help, a la Zack Morris?

    1. Send a message to President Obama to stop offshore drilling, or the National Wildlife Federation has created this form letter
    2. Donate $: The Environmental Defense Fund, OilSpillVolunteers.com, Alabama Coastal Foundation, and Save our Seabirds need your help
    3. Purchase a bottle of Dawn Dishwashing detergent (used to clean oil off of birds and animals), go online & they’ll donate $1 to Marine Mammal Center & the International Bird Rescue Research Center.
    4. Donate hair. Hair collects oil – Matter of Trust is taking donations of hair and nylons. Go here for more info or call 415-242-6041.
    5. Donate time. The Audubon Society, protecting American birds, is organizing volunteers for wildlife rescue & beach clean-up, and researching the spill’s effects on habitats. Fill out this volunteer form or donate on this site.
    6. Go on Twitter: Follow Crisis Camp’s list, Crisis Mappers’ list, or #oilspill.

    If you ARE in the Gulf:

    1. Volunteer (if you’re around the Gulf): Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, National Audubon or Oil Spill Volunteers
    2. If you’re in FL, pick up trash on the beach. (This minimizes damage once the oil spreads)

    Posted by Julie

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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