Oil Spill Volunteer Opportunities

One of the primary ways National Wildlife Federation stepped in to help wildlife impacted by the Gulf oil disaster was to quickly organize and deploy volunteers to the Gulf Coast.


Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams

After the initial explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, we helped lead an effort to have volunteers on the ground monitoring wildlife and the coast to watch for oil and report on how it was impacting habitat.

Our Gulf Coast Surveillance Volunteers reported in with photos, wildlife sightings, oil sightings and observations about the state of the cleanup operations and how wildlife was faring.

The need to monitor the active, visible spill has now shifted from daily surveillance to our volunteers being our long-term eyes and ears. They continue to report in on unusual behavior in wildlife and migration patterns, or on how habitat is faring in the months after the spill.

Other Ways to Help Gulf Wildlife

If you can't participate in the restoration events or surveillance efforts, you can still help wildlife by volunteering with National Wildlife Federation in the following ways:

  • Educating the Public - Work with local communities to educate individuals on things they can do in their area to help wildlife, such as help at tabling events, speak to school groups or youth groups, present at local civic groups or assist with fairs and festivals. Contact oilspillvolunteers@nwf.org for more information.

  • Become a Habitat Steward - National Wildlife Federation has a strong network of habitat volunteers who work to organize and inform their communities about the benefits of creating wildlife habitat in backyards, schools, offices and other community spaces. Help the Gulf by training new volunteers, monitoring and restoring specific habitats or serving as a project lead for single day restoration projects. Contact oilspillvolunteers@nwf.org for more information.

  • Create Wildlife Habitat in Your Own Backyard - If you can't volunteer directly with the oil spill restoration work but want to help wildlife--especially possible migratory birds that may pass through your area on their way to the Gulf--learn how to turn your garden into a haven for wildlife.

Help ensure we have the funding needed to help wildlife in the Gulf and beyond >>

Your help with any of these (or other) activities will help make a difference for the wildlife that lives and migrates through the impacted habitats.


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Five Years and Counting, a report by the National Wildlife Federation