5 ways to get more acquainted with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The environmental emergency in the Gulf of Mexico is now recorded as the worst oil spill in history. Below is a collection of a few ways to stay informed and help the relief.
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 16:28
GETTING THEIR FEET WET: The Louisiana National Guard works to protect ecosystems along the Gulf Coast in May 2010. (Photo: The U.S. Army/Flickr)
Now that the environmental emergency in the Gulf of Mexico has been recorded as the worst oil spill in history, it's a good time to get started (or continue) keeping yourself abreast of the most current information. Here are some of your best bets in order to stay informed and help the relief.
1) Stay informed: BP, NOAA, National Geographic, MNN
Keeping up with current news about the progress in the Gulf from many different sources is an important way to understand the magnitude of the situation from a number of perspectives.
BP Global: Gulf of Mexico Response — The official BP Web site provides up-to-date information about BP's efforts to stop the leak and provide support to clean up teams.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Emergency Efforts — This Web site provides a different perspective of the oil spill including information about the effects on fisheries, ecosystems, wildlife and other environmental concerns. It also describes the role the NOAA is taking in the response efforts.
National Geographic: Gulf Oil Spill News and Pictures — A collection of news stories relating to the situation in the Gulf and the broad span of effects the spill has had on the environment and the people.
Mother Nature Network: Gulf Oil Spill — Provides video, an ongoing count of how many gallons are leaked each day, and articles written by MNN correspondents relating to the oil crisis.
2) Download relevant iPhone apps
Apple has once again been consistent with the commonly heard phrase, "There's an app for that." A number of iPhone applications have been created to help users stay informed about the oil spill and assist with the clean-up process.
Endangered Species ($0.99) — This app assists users in identifying endangered species that have been affected by the spill by providing photos, videos and facts about each animal. It also includes maps that show where these species can be found in relation to the oil spill.
BP Gulf Oil Spill News ($1.99) — The app serves as a database for BP Oil news stories. It includes a running estimate of how many gallons have been leaked and a map of oil spill coverage. There is also an option to receive notifications with the latest news.
Oil Spill 2010 ($0.99) — This app provides an easy way to stay informed about the most current responses to the oil spill from the White House, BP and the public. It includes facts about the Gulf, a photo gallery and has suggestions on how users can take action.
Oil Reporter (Free) — This app allows for people living in the affected areas to report any effects of the spill that they may observe. Users can account for what they saw, how much oil, what animals were affected and have the option to include a photo in the report.
3) Visualize the devastation: View recent pictures
For example, a collection of images titled Two Months Later has been assembled by Lauren Effron from Discovery News that effectively captures the gravity of this environmental emergency.
4) Put the spill in perspective: "If It Was My Home"
Andy Lintner, a 29-year-old from Michigan, has created a Web site that superimposes the span of the oil spill on any city and its surrounding region entered into Google Maps. Lintner created the site in order to help people all over the world gain an understanding of how large the oil spill is in relation to their home.
5) Support relief efforts
National Geographic provides a list of nonprofit organizations helping numerous causes in the Gulf.
National Wildlife Federation lists recommendations for ways to help in the Gulf, such as donations, fundraisers and volunteering.
The PETA store takes a more malicious approach to fundraising by selling shirts, cups, hats, stickers and other paraphernalia that display the phrase "Give BP the bird" accompanied by an oil covered pelican showing a rude hand gesture.