There is a giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The size of the oil spill has grown to be bigger than the state of Rhode Island. The spill is still growing because workers are having trouble shutting off the underwater oil well. An oil rig explosion started the spill. Sadly, many people were hurt and some are still missing.
The spill is a danger to everything in its path. Marine animals, sea birds, and coastal plants are in danger.
I swim in the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I hope that the Coast Guard and oil workers can stop the oil spill very soon.
There is good news. Volunteers from around the country are coming to Gulfport, Mississippi. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has large tanks to clean injured animals. These volunteers will clean manatees, sea turtles, and dolphins. Volunteers from the Save our Seabirds group in Sarasota, Florida, are leading the bird rescue operations.
IF YOU FIND AN OILED OR INJURED ANIMAL,
PLEASE CALL (866)557-1401.
PLEASE REPORT THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF ANIMALS, THE DATE AND TIME THEY WERE SEEN, THEIR LOCATION, AND INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANIMAL'S BEHAVIOR.
If you would like to volunteer to help injured animals, please check with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana at http://www.crcl.org/ To help injured birds, visit Save our Seabirds at http://www.saveourseabirds.org/
To learn about the problems with oil spills, go to http://www.praguepost.cz/PPEF/02SC020918.pdf
To learn about the 400 species of coastal wildlife in the path of the oil spill, go to http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/education/labook.pdf
You can also check out these books from your library:
Oliver and the Oil Spill by Aruna Chandrasekhar
Oil Spills: Damage, Recovery, and Prevention by Laurence P. Pringle