Oil Spill FAQ Fact Sheet
How many endangered species may be harmed by the oil spill?
By the Endangered Species Coalition’s count, 43 imperiled, threatened and endangered species live in or migrate through the Gulf region and could be harmed by the oil spill. If the oil spill is carried further by the loop current up the coast of Eastern Florida and further north, many more species could be impacted.
Which species might be harmed?
There are 10 mammals, 8 fish, 6 marine mammals, 7 birds, 7 reptiles, 3 plants and 2 corals that are threatened or endangered and are within the path of the oil spill in the Gulf.
How does oil harm endangered species?
Oil harms endangered wildlife and plants in a number of different ways. Oil can sicken or kill animals that ingest it, it can prevent some species from thermoregulating, and/or limit their mobility.
What should I do if I find oiled or injured wildlife?
If you find wildlife that appears to be oiled or injured, please call 1-866-557-1401. Individuals are urged not to try to help any injured wildlife but to report and sightings to the toll-free number. Proper authorities will be dispersed to the area to confirm the sighting and will move forward from there.
How can I report an oiled shoreline?
To report an oiled shoreline, please call 1-866-448-5816. This number may also be contacted if you wish to request information on volunteering.
Where can I find information about water and sediment testing along the beaches?
The EPA is currently collecting and analyzing water and sediment samples to help states and other federal agencies understand the immediate and long-term impacts of oil contamination along the Gulf coast. The results and the interpretation of all data collected by EPA will be posted to www.epa.gov/bpspill. For more specific information on coastal water sampling, click here. For more specific information on sediment sampling click here.
How do I know if my drinking water is safe?
The oil spill is not currently expected to affect drinking water. The closest reservoir for drinking water is located 49 miles upstream on the Mississippi River. Concerns about drinking water should be minimal as the oil is not expected to move this far up stream. If you have any concerns about your water quality or would like more information regarding safe drinking water you may contact your water utility.
Where can I find information about air quality in areas contaminated by oil?
The EPA has initiated an air monitoring effort to ensure the safety of local residents and track any developing air quality changes. For any concerns about the potential impact of air quality, please visit http://airnow.gov/ or http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/qanda.html#aq for more information.
Top 10 Things You Can Do to Help Protect Endangered Species from Oil Spill Impacts
1. Volunteer at your local National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). With up to 31 NWR impacted in the oil spill impacted area, federal funds will be stretched tight, and most refuges will now need volunteer assistance more than ever. To request more information about volunteering please call 1-866-448-5816.
2. Donate to the Endangered Species Coalition. Your contribution will be used to help make sure that future generations of endangered species are not harmed by oil again.
3. Take action onlilne. Ask President Obama to permanently ban new offshore drilling.
4. Educate friends and family members about the spill and what they can do to help wildlife by following ESC on Facebook and Twitter and becoming a conservation activist joining our Activist Network.
5. Slow down when traveling our waterways and oceans. Whales and manatees contending with oil slicks won’t be able to handle the extra impacts of boat collisions and harassment. Additional stresses will make them less likely to thrive and reproduce.
6. Clean waterways near your home, by participating or initiating neighborhood clean-up days. Many watersheds around the country flow into the oceans. Species that are already dealing with oil particles may be to weak to overcome any additional impacts. Making our waterways and oceans as clean as possible can help ease the burden on wildlife.
7. Reduce toxins. Minimize use of herbicides and pesticides, which make their way to waterways, harming wildlife. Dispose of toxics such as chemicals and paints safely, so they don’t end up in waterways.
8. Reduce your consumption of energy. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Use power strips to switch off multiple electronic devices at once. When buying new appliances and electronic devices, be sure to look for the highest Energy Star ratings. By not consuming energy, we reduce the demand for fossil fuels. When renovating a home or building a new home, maker sure to maximize its energy efficiency with insulation, proper siting and other means.
9. Ride the subway, a bike or carpool to work. If everyone did this even once per week, it would make a significant difference in our country’s consumption of gasoline.
10. Drive a hybrid, electric or fuel efficient car. Fuel efficiency of 30 MPG should be a minimum.