Colorado citizens seeking to volunteer in the Gulf of Mexico to help clean up the BP oil spill can expect to be doing a whole lot of nothing. Many eager volunteers from Denver and around the country flew into the Gulf coast hoping to create change and rescue the ocean and marine life from the biggest oil spill disaster in US history are finding out that they are there to wait around.
BP is only using paid workers to clean up the oil spill because their rules require training for anyone touching oily material. However, the fishermen that BP hired are also just waiting around to do something. Some guess BP hired them “to show numbers” and attempt to satisfy the out-of-work fishermen.
The Commercial Fishermen’s Association also pointed out that BP required all volunteers to sign Master Charter Agreements, which compromised their current and future rights to speak freely about their involvement in oil clean up efforts.
Aside from Colorado volunteers and other U.S. volunteers for the Gulf oil spill, the Coast Guard has stated that 44 nations have offered help 107 times in terms of technical advice to lending skimmer boats and booms. On April 30th, the Nederlands offered four oil skimmers that would process more than 6 million gallons of oily water per day but it took the U.S. seven weeks to accept the offer. Meanwhile, Obama played golf for ten weeks before any of his actions took place.
This delay may be a result of the Federal government claiming that only 1,000 barrels of oil were being spilled per day. SkyTruth, a company that specializes in gathering satellite and aerial data estimates that about 5,000 barrels of oil are spilled per day.
Humans aside, many animals are suffering from this disaster and for some reason, many marine lives are curious about the spill and drawn to the area where they suffer exposure. Fishermen are also encouraged to continue fishing in the Gulf despite ingestion of the oil by sea life.
To top this off, Hurricane Alex’s role in the Gulf may result in acid rain from the oil picked up around the coast.
Colorado citizens who want to volunteer in Denver can donate to charities and stay informed. However, the Better Business Bureau says to watch out for which organizations you decided to donate to because unfortunately, there is a large number of charity scams who are looking to profit off of this huge disaster.
Barbershops, pet groomers and even individuals can volunteer for the Gulf oil spill in Colorado by sending hair and fur to MatterofTrust.org, an organization that is cleverly collecting and stuffing hair into nylon stockings in order to soak up spilled oil.
Organizations do warn that since the number of local volunteers greatly outnumbers the opportunities for distance volunteers, you should specify a volunteer role and connection before you make plans to travel to the Gulf Coast.