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.
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.
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
provides a list of nonprofit organizations helping numerous causes in the Gulf.
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.