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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities -Updated May 19th

DO NOT attempt to clean oil or handle wildlife without proper training, materials washing ashore are extremely toxic!
Be aware that training class offered by BP does not permit you to clean up oil. You must be sponsored by local volunteer organization or a contracted paid employee. Additional training is required and opportunities for employment are listed below. Best ways to volunteer are by becoming a COAST WATCHER, CLEANING THE BEACH, MAKING HAIR BOOMS OR RAISING FUNDS FOR EMERALD COAST WILDLIFE REFUGE and MOST IMPORTANTLY SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES. If you would like to be a volunteer at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge the are having an orientation seminar June 5th and the Local Hair Boom folks need help now.  

Okaloosa County Residents are asked to call: 311
BP issued phone numbers for the following response inquiries:
To report oiled wildlife, please call 1-866-557-1401 and leave a message.
Messages will be checked hourly.
To discuss spill related damage, please call 1-800-440-0858.
To report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information, please call

Volunteer Opportunities:
1. The State of Florida needs Coast Watchers to report oil in the water and on land. No special training is needed. 

2. Florida citizens are encourage to volunteer through state web-site:
http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org or call: 1-866-448-5816
3. Keeping the beaches clean will help efforts to clean any oil that comes ashore.

4. Emerald Coast Keepers is a great organization providing services in Escambia County: http://www.emeraldcoastkeeper.org/  or
Citizen Information number is (850) 471-6600. 

5. Walton County Residents:
Residents looking to volunteer their time toward prevention and clean-up in Walton County are asked to go to the home page of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office web site, www.waltonso.org and complete an Oil Spill Volunteer Application.  The Application can be emailed to ccox@waltonso.org, faxed to 267-1350 or you may drop your application off at the Santa Rosa Beach Substation Monday through Friday 8 AM through 5 PM.  In addition, the web site will keep the public informed of any development concerning this incident and potential impacts. Call 267-2000 for more info..

6. The Red Cross is asking for volunteers to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.: If you're interested in volunteering in Bay County for the oil spill, you can e-mail your name, phone number, and e-mail address to:oilspill@redcrosscpc.org

7. Emerald Coast Wild Life Refuge are working closely with BP and Tri-state Bird Rescue and will soon be integrated into the hotline system. In order to more accurately track oiled wildlife related to this spill, if you find a suspected oiled animal, contact the Oiled Wildlife Hotline: 1-866-557-1401.... All reports in our response area will be forwarded to our team.
Wild Life Effects-http://www.tristatebird.org/response/effects 
We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and concern during this tragic event. Our biggest need at this time is for people who are willing to answer the phone at the refuge. You will respond to callers' frequently asked questions and refer them to the various agencies in charge of the effort.. Remember, every effort is important and valuable.

Please email Susan at slevielle@ecwildliferefuge.com , with the words "Phone Duty" in you subject line if you are able to come in to answer the phone. Please include your availability.

While We are not currently seeking volunteers specific to the oil spill we are always looking for volunteers. Our next volunteer orientation is scheduled for 5 June, and you can email Susan with the words "Volunteer Orientation Sign up" in the subject header for details.
In preparation for the oil slick, we need the following.
Please drop items at 406 Mountain Dr, Destin FL 32541 between 9am-3pm. 
Plastic storage bins with lids (18-24 Gal)/
Baby blankets/towels/
Heating pads w/out auto shut-off (older models)/
Heat lamps/
Plastic stock tanks (Tractor Supply) 100 gal or larger/...
Portable swim pool (non-inflatable) not shallow baby pools/
Cash donations for medical supplies
Gift Cards - Visa (can be spent anywhere), Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, etc/
Monetary donations to cover items not readily available to the public.../ 

Heavy duty plastic garbage bags/
Plastic trash cans/
Paper towels/
Bottled water

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Thanks to First City Bank, they have partnered with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge to help raise funds for all of the animals that will be affected by the oil spill. You can drop of your donation at any First City Bank location.

Helen Back Café has decided on a regular schedule for the building of the booms.Here are several opportunities for each and every one of us to get involved.
Until Further Notice:
Tuesday: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
Donations can be dropped off or you can call the point of contacts and arrange pick up.
Points of Contact: Please reference the Building of the Booms.
Location: 328 Racetrack Rd. N.E.Fort Walton Beach, Fl
(This is the old Rhodes Furniture Building located at the Eglin end of Racetrack Rd) Here is a great opportunity for us all to get involved.

Please respond to event link: (They really need to get a real head count)
9. OTHER: 
To become a part of the Santa Rosa County volunteer data base for volunteer opportunities that may arise, contact the Volunteer Reception Center operated through Help Thy Neighbors in coordination with emergency management at 850-983-5223.

OKALOOSA COUNTY - Citizens in Okaloosa County wanting more information can dial 311 ext. 8 for updates or visit www.okaloosafl.com and click on 311.


Okaloosa Island Beaches were cleaned in April to celebrate Earth Day and remain very clean. ALL waterfront homeowners, including Destin (private) beach homeowners, are asked to clean up their own waterfront areas in order to protect sea grasses, etc. from impact of volunteers.  This is to include the people living on the bays and bayous.

Support United Way's Response to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Crisis go to
www.united-way.org  click on DONATE NOW!
Bill Robinson, United Way
850.243.0315 bill@unitedway.org

Oil Spill Training - Volunteers - Paid Work 
It has been sometime since my last update. I know you have all been inundated with news and rumors regarding the BP oil spill. I am trying to help you all sort through the massive amount of information out there, valid and not.

I spent some time today at the new BP office in Pensacola, 435 E. Government Street. I learned quite a bit about the volunteer/training/employment issue. Please share this email with anyone you know in the Gulf Coast who might be interested.

For those of you that have taken the 4 hour “Personal Safety” course you will be able to assist organizations in their efforts, not BP.

If you want to be on the front lines you will have to take the new 6 hour OSHA training being offered. And, you will have to be hired by BP; they will not be allowing any volunteers to work directly in cleanup efforts. I was told that this is because as an employee you are covered by their insurance, volunteers are not. They are constantly updating OSHA training schedule here: http://pecpremier.com/

The very first introduction to the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program happened in Apalachicola and Pensacola yesterday. Other introduction sessions will be happening in counties throughout Florida and are not being announced publically. Rather, they are contacting marine and fishery groups to announce these meetings as they are geared toward boat owners only. This introduction meeting (3 hours!!) is NOT required to participate in the VOO program, it is simply an information gathering opportunity. What are required are a signed contract and a 4 hour class for all crew (the OSHA 6 hour class mentioned above is NOT required for the VOO program). Once you have submitted a signed contract and attended the 4 hour class you are now qualified to be hired by BP for oil response. However, you will not be allowed to work directly in cleanup operations (instead you may lay boom or other supportive roles). If you are interested in participating directly in cleanup efforts (in the VOO program) you and your crew will have to attend a 40 hour “Hazwapper” class (paid for by BP of course). ONLY those folks who are contacted and asked to assist in cleanup efforts will be told of the time/date of the 40 hour class.

I hope this helps to clear up much confusion out there regarding training and volunteering. My next report will be regarding health impacts of this unfortunate mess.
Just a reminder that our Gala is coming up next Saturday, May 22nd. Information can be found and tickets can be purchased online at emeraldcoastkeeper.org/gala. $30 each or two for $50 in advance, or at the door for $40 each. We are a non-profit completely dependent of the support of our members and generous sponsors. Thank you to all of you who help us in our fight for swimmable, drinkable waters!

Chasidy Fisher Hobbs
Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc.
o: 850-429-8422
We need members to help in our fight for clean water. Please Join NOW:

Paid Oil Spill Work: 
This batch of folks will need to be from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. If you are in Louisiana, send me your info and we'll find a connection there. 6 days - 10 hours a day general labor. Hourly rate + overtime and daily meal allowance. 40 hour training next week in Panama City Beach. Send me names of people who can come to training next week. Contact jcarter@starpros.com.

406 Mountain Drive
Destin, FL 32541
The mission of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) is education, conservation and rehabilitation for the welfare of Florida’s natural fauna.
The ECWR is a not-for-profit organization made up of a caring staff and dedicated volunteers. Its headquarters and refuge are currently located in the heart of Destin, Florida. Over the past 13 years, the ECWR has cared for thousands of animals in need of help – from stranded dolphins to injured eagles to orphaned foxes. The ECWR is mainly supported through the generous donations of local residents and businesses.
To make a donation in support of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge's ongoing programs,  click here! 
Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010

 Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge continues to monitor the oil spill, and expect at minimum to be involved in the rescue of many sea turtles and marine mammals. The impact on birds in our area is as yet unclear, but we are prepared to respond to oiled bird calls as well.
We are working closely with NOAA, USFWS, FFWCC, BP, Okaloosa EOC, and many other agencies and groups to plan our response in order to provide the best care possible to wildlife impacted by the spill.

We want to emphasize that when and if oil reaches our beaches, only those with specific hazmat training will be allowed on the beach. If you would like to receive that training there are several agencies working to provide it. For the most current information on hazmat training contact the BP Community & Volunteer Hotline: 1-866-448-5816.

We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and concern during this tragic event. Our biggest need at this time is for people who are willing to answer the phone at the refuge. You will respond to callers' frequently asked questions and refer them to the various agencies in charge of the effort.. Remember, every effort is important and valuable. Please email Susan at slevielle@ecwildliferefuge.com, with the words "Phone Duty" in you subject line if you are able to come in to answer the phone. Please include your availability.
While We are not currently seeking volunteers specific to the oil spill we are always looking for volunteers. Our next volunteer orientation is scheduled for 5 June, and you can email Susan with the words "Volunteer Orientation Sign up" in the subject header for deatils.
Now more than ever, the ECWR also needs the assistance of our trained volunteersin day-to-day operations. If you are already an active volunteer, please check your calendars and give Susan a call if you have some extra time to lend a hand.
Thank you all for your patience and support, I have been in personal contact with a friend that has worked spills all over the world, and she thinks this may be the one of the worstever...so we will need you.

I want to re-emphasize that we are ready and able to respond to oiled wildlife, and are on call 24/7. Oiled wildlife will be suffering from shock, hypo or hyperthermia, and stress and is typically stabilized for 24 - 48 hours before washing begins. If you find a suspected oiled animal please call the BP Oiled Wildlife Hotline: 1-866-557-1401,  immediately. You can also call us directly at 850-650-1880.

Please remember that once the oil is on the beach only individuals with specific training will be allowed onto the beach to conduct rescues, and under no circumstances should you handle a suspected oiled animal.

I realize that the information about volunteering has been confused and at time inaccurate, for our part we are logging everyone who calls and will forward any solid informationas we get it. As our response duties and needs become clearer, we will of course contact you with those needs.

Patrick Gault
Assistant Director/Biologist

An Important Message For Volunteers!
Because of your generosity and kindness, Florida’s shores will be well prepared when the oil hits! Thank you for springing into action and volunteering to help. There has been an overwhelming response!

All oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by Qualified Community Responders (QCR) and not by volunteers.  BP is providing training through PEC/Premier Safety Management.  However, the BP training modules are of use primarily to individuals interested in employment and not volunteers.

We encourage you to get involved in your local community. Volunteers can support the oil cleanup effort through appropriate activities such as Coast Watch, pre-oil landfall beach cleanups, fundraising, and meetingo ther needs of responding organizations. The information on this website features events happening in your own backyard as well as links to other websites with volunteer opportunities.

Thank you for keeping the volunteer spirit alive in Florida!

 The “Coast Watchers” will assist BP and their partnering organizations in identifying beaches that need attention.

Coast Watchers will work within the coastal communities where they live or visit and commit to do the following:
    Report injured or oiled animals to the Wildlife Distress Hotline: 1-866-557-1401
    Report oiled shoreline in Florida to the State Warning Point: 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or #DEP from a cell phone.
    Report a change in Air Quality to: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/
Coast Watchers are not permitted to enter off-limit areas to obtain observations and must not make contact with oiled wildlife, vegetation, and beaches due the health concerns associated with contact.
Citizens wanting to become a Coast Watcher do not require any special training or registration.  However, they should be conscious of the coastal environment in their community.  If a Coast Watcher observes contaminated wildlife, vegetation, or shoreline, it should be reported immediately to the numbers above.
It is shorebird and seabird nesting season. Beach cleanup efforts, although well-intentioned, can pose a serious threat to nesting shorebirds and seabirds if extreme caution is not exercised; it is of utmost importance to follow the best management practices.

For those who want to clean litter from the beaches in anticipation of oil coming ashore, Audubon of Florida recommends the following:
     Use approved access points.
     Stay below the tidal line.
     Natural debris should be left in place as it often provides valuable nesting benefits to shorebirds and other wildlife.
     Do not place debris in the dunes or above the high water line.
     Don’t use equipment such as rakes, shovels or tractors.
     Do not bring dogs onto the beach (dogs are a primary source beach bird disturbance and mortality).
If you would like your event posted on our website, please contact us.
Important Links

More Information
BP operates several Call Centers in response to this event:
  • Environmental Hotline and Community Information: 866.448.5816
  • Wildlife Distress Hotline: 866.557.1401
  • Volunteers: 866.448.5816
  • Register your professional services: 281.366-5511
  • Vessels of Opportunity - register boats to assist with response: 281.366-5511
  • Claims: 800.440.0858

Oil is a hazardous material and should be handled by highly trained professionals and volunteers only.

Volunteers should not attempt to clean impacted beaches themselves or attempt to rescue oiled wildlife on their own. Touching oil is a health risk and disposing of it improperly may cause additional environmental damage. Distressed wildlife may become aggressive and cause harm to you.

Always heed local warnings from public health officials.

Do not trespass on closed beaches. Even leaving your footprints behind may cause environmental damage.

Volunteers should not expect to just show up to affected beaches and work. Showing up puts you at risk for health problems, hinder the efforts of response personnel, and may cause further irreparable damage to impacted beaches.

Valuable resources are needed by responding agencies.

Consider donating much-needed cash to responding organizations.

Confirm the needs with a responding organization before collecting items.

Engage wisely.

Join a responding organization and become trained to volunteer safely and effectively.

The need for volunteers and donations is long-term. Time and resources will be needed for cleanup efforts many months later.

Florida Response Numbers
Florida Oil Spill Information Line
(888) 337-3569
(800) 955-8771 (TDD)
(800) 955-8770 (voice)
Attorney General Fraud Hotline for Price Gouging
(866) 966-7226
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Price Gouging Hotline
(800) HELP-FLA
(800) 435-7352
Seabirds and shorebirds are protected by law. Report anyone harming or harassing these birds or nest disturbances to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(888) 404-FWCC (3922)
Florida State Parks Camping or Cabin Reservations
(850) 245-2157
Florida Department of Financial Services Small Business Assistance Hotline.
(850) 413-3089
(877) MY-FL-CFO
(877) 693-5236
Business Owner Insurance Coverage Hotline
(850) 413-3100
(800) 342-2762
TDD: (850) 410-9700
Report boom vandalism to the Florida State Warning Point
(800) 320-0519
BP Issued Response Numbers
BP’s community information line and volunteer line
(866) 448-5816
To report tarballs or other evidence of oil on Florida’s coastline call the Rapid Response Team
(866) 448-5816
Report oiled wildlife
(866) 557-1401
File a claim with BP
(800) 440-0858
Report injured or oiled animals to the Wildlife Distress Hotline
(866) 557-1401
Fishermen who wish to contact BP
(800) 440-0858
To register as a consultant, contractor, vendor, or submit information on alternative response technology, services, products, vessels of opportunities, or suggestions
(281) 366-5511
Investor Relations
(281) 366-3123
Transocean Hotline
(832) 587-8554
MI Swaco Hotline
(888) 318-6765
BP family and third-party contractor hotline
(281) 366-5578

1 comment:

Stella Art said...


Florida Online Volunteer Register

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