August 20th marked the fourth month since the Deep Horizon spill, but the people, wildlife, and economy are still drenched in its oily aftermath. BP is supposed to “kill” its well next month. While everyone is waiting patiently for it to be pronounced dead, Interior Secretary, Kenneth Salazar guaranteed Gulf residents federal help for not just months, but for years to come. BP has agreed to fund a three-year study of the Gulf oil spill effects on fisheries in shore, near shore, and on the continental shelf. After four months some residents are slightly relived to see BP taking responsibility, but the question still looms: Is it enough?
Efforts to rescue and clean wildlife are slow and will take some time. There are organizations who’ do care about these animals and are doing their best to deploy volunteers where they are needed. Nature conservancy is working in partner with the coalition to restore coastal Louisiana, Barataria Terrebonne National estuary Program, National Wildlife Federation, and Audubon Society to put in place an effective volunteer response. National Wildlife Federation have organized teams of volunteers to study more than 10,000 miles of coastline. Volunteers will make daily visits to key sites to notify rehabilitation teams of oiled or injured wildlife, and look for signs of the spill in new areas.
Efforts to rescue marine mammals such as dolphins and sea turtles that are stranded are underway. Some boating captains involved in these rescues have reported that BP has been preventing their boats from coming into these areas to rescue the turtles. BP uses a controlled burn technique to contain the spill, burning off any oil or marine life that may have been gathered inside the booms. This means the sea turtles were burned alive. Could this be destroying evidence, keeping liability down? The majority of sea turtles that were and are effected by the spill are a species called Kemp’s Ridley’s, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Criminal penalties for harming one of these turtles is possible prison time and fines from $25,000- $50,000. For more information on this subject click here. If you live in the Gulf coast area and want to volunteer follow the link below for your region.