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The 90 Day Plan

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Updated Water and Air Quality Visualization Tools

Current Air Quality along the Gulf Coast

Because of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the EPA is monitoring air quality in the region. The maps and charts below show current ozone and fine particulate Air Quality Index values at air quality monitors located along the Gulf coast. These maps and charts will be updated hourly to show the most recent conditions.



Louisiana air quality site

For your health and safety, check this site out frequently to monitor Louisiana Air Quality… got to Kenner site, and pick date (Apr. 29 was real bad).





Suburban native works to save fragile Gulf Coast

Daily Herald
By Robert McCoppin | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 5/6/2010 11:44 AM

He used to canoe down the Des Plaines River and swim as a lifeguard in suburban pools. Now his love of water is prompting Kristian Anders Gustavson to venture to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gustavson was in New Orleans Thursday to begin documenting the effects of the BP oil spill that was spewing an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf each day.

A Libertyville native and founder of the waterway conservation group Below the Surface, Gustavson is working with camera crews to film sensitive areas of the Gulf Coast, such as the Gulf Islands National Seashore and barrier islands, before they get hit by the spill, and after, if necessary.

The goal is to get a baseline picture of the coast, how it's affected by the oil, and how effective cleanup efforts are.

Just as when he watched film of games as a football player at Libertyville High School, the 25-year-old Gustavson hopes the film will help us learn from mistakes.

Gustavson is one of many current and former suburban residents who have volunteered to respond to the oil spill, which began with an oil rig explosion April 20.

Click to enlarge

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana registered more than 100 Illinois residents to help with the cleanup, but they had not been mobilized because the spill had not reached landfall.

Likewise, the National Audubon Society is signing up volunteers but not mobilizing them, as weather patterns temporarily held the oil slick off shore.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago also is gearing up to respond to the spill, spokesman Roger Germann said.

Gustavson, who now lives in San Diego, was already familiar with the New Orleans area because of a previous project.

In February, Gustavson explored the Atchafalaya River, which branches off the Mississippi River and runs through the largest swamp in the country to the Gulf, where its deposits are helping to rebuild the coastline.

The area is Cajun country, home to 800-year-old cypress trees and a prime candidate for flooding, so Gustavson was studying conservation efforts there. He said his work will be featured in the June issue of Reader's Digest.

"The Gulf coast has sort of lured me in," Gustafson said. "It's a phenomenal place with a lot of history that's often overlooked. I've really come to respect and cherish this area."

Closer to home, the Shedd Aquarium has contacted officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as local conservation groups, and is waiting to see what expertise is needed.

When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ruptured in Alaska in 1989, the aquarium sent a team of experts to help clean and rehabilitate oil-fouled sea otters.

Three of those orphaned otter pups, unable to be returned to the wild, still live at the Shedd.

The Shedd also helped with an oil spill that affected penguins in South Africa in the 1990s, and this past winter with mass sea turtle strandings during the cold snap in Florida.

In the Gulf coast, two endangered species of great concern to marine ecologists are the Brown Pelican and sea turtles.

"We're prepared to go down there," Germann said. "We're just waiting for the call on how we can help."

When is enough, enough? The sad reality of the oil spill...

 Today at 9:22am
It's like the quiet storm here. There's not a soul on the beach and there hasn't been since I arrived three days ago. Fishing boats sit docked like empty houses in an old abandoned ghost town. A sad reality of the halt on the fishing and shrimping industry due to the massive oil spill that sits off of the coast of Mississippi.

Here in Biloxi, Mississippi my team and I chartered a boat out to the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore and to my amazement it was far worse than I could have imagined. I don't want to sound like a defeatist here. However once you leave the shore behind and realize the enormity of our Ocean and the impossibility of containing an oil spill of this magnitude; it's darn right heart breaking.

Watching the Bottle Nose dolphins glide through the water just off of our boat, almost at an arm's length away. I could only hope that they would be safe. I feel a certain kinship with them, almost family like. Just a little farther outside sat the beautiful white sand beach of Ship Island surrounded in oil boom. 

Oil boom, which sits only a couple of inches above the surface, doesn't really do much in windy conditions. Especially in windy, choppy conditions like yesterday when the water just splashes right over it.  This is the best that we have?

The reality of this, in recalling my experience of yesterday, has just hit me and it sucks to say the least. I hate to admit this but my eyes are almost teary. On another island we watched birds feeding on a huge bait ball with oil scum floating on the surface. One can only imagine how long they might have?
I've heard reports about how this is the greatest clean up effort ever? I can only say that I haven't seen it? Perhaps it's further out? However the oil is clearly within such efforts. I counted 9 boats laying oil boom off of the Chandelier Island and to me, it doesn't come close to being enough?  What is enough?

How much is enough?

I've seen enough, and I feel like I'm watching the slow death of my best friend all over again.


James Pribram

Friday, May 7, 2010

Being the Solution

Many organizations and individuals are stepping up to deal with the disaster that has been leveled on the Gulf of Mexico Coastline. Below the Surface's Kristian Gustavson and James Pribram, the Eco-Warrior are at ground zero assisting in searches for wildlife, cleaning up where they can, filming and relating their observations along the coastline.

Other citizen groups are working hard to chronicle the current situation, Click Here for more information about some of the ways others are living the mantra Be The Solution.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Who you gonna call? The Eco-Warriors!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Who you gonna call? The Eco-Warriors!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

SOS Oil Spill Update-By James Pribram

Flying into New Orleans yesterday with the great Mississippi River below us, I 
couldn't help but wonder what type of impact the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would 
have on this area. I do know however that there is already a halt on all fishing and shrimping in 
effect in this area. Many of the local fisherman and their vessels are being 
hired to help in the cleanup efforts.

One interesting note is that five sea turtles have come up dead in the last few 
days with no evidence of oil contributing to their untimely deaths. Authorities 
here are speculating that because of the shrimping vessels being released one 
week early because of the impending oil spill, that rushing fisherman may have 
killed them accidentally as they raced against the clock against the soon-to-be 
halt on all fishing.  Hard to imagine how many more sea turtles may be killed as the oil slick 

After landing yesterday, Kristian Gustavson, who I am traveling with, and I 
headed to the multiple lines of defense lab at the University of New Orleans 
where we were briefed on the deep water horizon disaster, situation report by 
GIS (geographic information systems) coordinator Ezra Boyd.

Some mind-blowing figures are that an oil spill of this magnitude will cost 
$285 million dollars for shoreline cleanup in Louisiana for 30 days. There are three basic 
ways to combat an oil spill: using oil booms, dispersants and absorbants, as 
well the more drastic measure of burning the oil itself, used in a major spill 
like this one.

Another interesting fact is that the only significant breakthrough in clean up 
efforts since the tragic Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 is that they now know that 
they can anchor the oil booms down which help keep them from splashing around.
Right now Kristian and I are coordinating our efforts with the National Audubon 
Society, Waterkeeper alliance, and Louisiana State University. 

For more information, visit, or

James Pribram


Winds out of the South @ 5-10MPH Water temp in Gulfport, MS is approx 75F.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Trade Secrets and Dispersants

The exact makeup of the dispersants is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses.”



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Call BP and Voice Your Opinion!

There is nothing worse than profits coming before people or the environment. Businesses often look at their bottom line over everything else. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is a frustrating example of the failure of a technology that the oil industry, and until recently, our President, heralded as safe. I encourage you to POLITELY call BP, inquire about their cleanup efforts and let them know you want them to do more to ensure that the damage to Louisiana's coastline is minimized and ENCOURAGE BP to put more emphasis on their renewable energy business.

You can reach BP offices through their website by Clicking Here or see the text copied below:

Please use the contact details below to email, call or write to us in the United States. We aim to deal with your enquiries as quickly as possible. BP offices in the United States


BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.
900 East Benson Boulevard
AK 99508-4254
Phone: +1 907 561 5111


28100 Torch Parkway
IL 60555
Phone: +1 630 836 5000


501 Westlake Park Boulevard
TX 77079
Phone: +1 281 366 2000

La Palma

4 Centerpointe Drive
La Palma

BP Chemicals

28100 Torch Park Way
IL 60555
Phone: +1 877 701 2726

BP Solar

630 Solarex Ct.
MD 21703
Phone: +1 301 698 4200

Black Tides: The Worst Oil Spills in History

This KML shows information about the 50 worst oil spills, from tanker accidents and drilling operations, as well as a number of other notable spills. Did you know that some of the biggest oil spills in history were actually intentional?

CTX: Center for Tankship Excellence (most complete tanker accident database on the internet)
Cedre (very good database of oil spills)
NOAA Incident News (oil spill case studies)
Amazon Watch (information about Ecuador and Peru oil contamination)
ITOPF: International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (oil spill statistics)
as well as Environment Canada Tanker Spills DB, Oil Rig incidents, InterTanko
Tools used: EarthPlot, Google Spreadsheet Mapper

Google Earth Outreach Showcase Google Earth file in the Google Earth Plugin

Deepwater Horizon Expedition

Deepwater Horizon Response

For a timeline from April 20-May 3, 2010, check out this online Wall Street Journal article

Deepwater Horizon Expedition

The 7 Stupidest Statements Made About the BP Gulf Oil Spill

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York  on 05. 3.10

Photo via the Telegraph

The BP oil spill is on par to outpace the Exxon Valdez oil spill in terms of size, impact, and devastation, which is no small feat. The Valdez spill cost billions of dollars to clean up, killed hundreds of thousands of animals, and registered a debilitating effect to the coastal ecosystem. And yet, we see, once again, that there's no shortage of people who seem to forget easily, or are downright ignorant of the catastrophe an oil spill of this magnitude presents. To illustrate, I bring you the 7 stupidest things said about the BP oil spill so far . . .

Some of these statements are made out of pure ignorance, while others are clearly intended to downplay the impact of the event, and any ramifications it might have on offshore drilling in general. Without further ado:

Photo via Doug Geivett

7. Rush Limbaugh: Environmentalists probably blew up the oil rig
Ah, yes. Where would any major event be if Rush Limbaugh wasn't around to say something idiotic about it? This time, Limbaugh predictably uses the fact that the explosion happened around Earth Day to, yes, blame environmentalists for it. Here's some of the quote:

But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they're sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they're sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I'm just noting the timing here.
Such a sleuth, that Limbaugh. And that's just a snippet of his inane rant.

6. Rep. Taylor Compares Oil Slick to Chocolate Milk
On a television at a local station in Biloxi, Representative Gene Taylor (D-MS) attempted to downplay the severity of the oil leak -- yes, the one that is spewing at least 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico -- by comparing it to chocolate milk. Taylor said, "I would remind people that the oil is twenty miles from any marsh. ... That chocolate milk looking spill starts breaking up in smaller pieces ... It is tending to break up naturally." His 'it's-not-that-bad" message took the host by surprise -- but his embarrassingly misleading attempts to save face for offshore drilling practices makes sense, as he's long a staunch supporter of expanding offshore drilling.

Also, that oil is already washing up on the shore. You're going to have to do better than pretending that this isn't a big deal.

Photo via the Caucus

5. Sarah Palin Promotes Offshore Drilling As Massive Oil Leak Continues
File this one under the 'you've got to be kidding me' header. Seriously? Doesn't Palin at least have PR advisers that can tell her to hold off on promoting offshore drilling while the biggest offshore drilling accident in US history is spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf? Evidently not -- she went right on calling to 'Drill, Baby, Drill' at a speech in Kansas City last Saturday.

4. Bill Kristol Says Offshore Drilling Should be Brought Closer to Land
The conservative thought leader Bill Kristol has made a remarkably idiotic statement in the wake of the BP oil spill -- saying that "If we hadn't stopped closer-in drilling after the Santa Barbara accident 40 years ago -- we've had these Congressional restrictions until 2008, for 40 years -- we'd have more drilling closer in which is probably less dangerous, less treacherous than trying to drill 50 miles out from the coast," in adiscussion on Fox News. Of course, if Kristol had his way, the oil would be piling up on shore much, much sooner, and preventative and cleanup efforts would be next to impossible.

3. T. Boone Pickens: "All of that will get cleaned up and we'll be back"
T. Boone Pickens, the famed oil man and architect of the thus-far non-operational Pickens plan, has made a surprisingly overoptimistic and largely ignorant assessment of the spill:

this is, you know, an unusual case but there've been others like this so I think way too much is being made of the... of the oil that's being... that's coming out there in the Gulf. All of that will get cleaned up and we'll be back... we'll be back to normal, the world hasn't changed because of this blowout.
He said this on MSNBC just last Sunday, when there was already plenty of evidence contrary to nearly all of those points: Experts have said that they'll be "lucky" if 15% of the spill gets cleaned up -- most of it simply will not. Secondly, there have not been others like this, as bad as this -- not in US history.

Photo via the Guardian

2. Tony Hayward, CEO of BP: "What the hell did we do to deserve this?"
How about not complying with safety regulations, lobbying hard for softer, 'voluntary' safety reports as opposed to proper oversight, and boasting a history of negligence and accidents, for starters? Yes, the CEO of BP reportedly asked that question aloud to fellow executives in London -- and maybe he should take a closer look at his company's lousy safety record before counting himself (and his $5 million a yearsalary) as so unfortunate.


1. Rush Limbaugh: Oil Spill is as "Natural as the Ocean Water is."
It's only fitting that our list begins and ends with Limbaugh. The first statement he made, while undeniably stupid, is the sort of thing that he can be counted on to spout while blathering about the 'left' and those 'wacko environmentalists'. But this statement is 100% objectively stupid: ""The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there," Limbaugh said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is."

Woops. Here's TreeHugger's Michael Graham Richards taking down:

This shows a total lack of understanding, a big 'science fail'... "Natural" doesn't always mean good, despite what the marketing people would like you to believe. Arsenic, lead and mercury are as natural as can be, but you wouldn't want them in your food or your living room. Well, crude oil is also natural, but it's toxic to most living organisms (exceptions are rare, mostly bacteria), and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are the living room and fridge of countless species.
And once again, Rush Limbaugh has been proven to be, wholly and unequivocally, an idiot.

More on the Gulf Oil Spill
BP Gulf Oil Spill Cheat Sheet: A Timeline of Unfortunate Events ...
The Anatomy of an Oil Spill Cleanup: What Works and What Doesn't ...
Gulf Oil Spill - Amazing and Devastating Photos

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Update: Siphoning Oil From Sea Floor, Sea Turtle Deaths, Obama Visits La., and More

Here's a look at oil spill cleanup efforts and news from this weekend and this morning. 
Kemp's ridley sea turtle at Padre Island National Seashore. Courtesy USFWS 

Dead sea turtles wash up on Mississippi beaches
This weekend at least 20 sea turtles, some of them endangered Kemp's ridley turtles, were found dead along a 30-mile stretch of Mississippi beaches from Biloxi to Bay St. Louis, the AP reports. Wildlife officials don't yet know whether they died as a result of the oil spill, but they may have taken ill after consumer oil-coated fish. Necropsies that will determine cause of death will be performed today.
BP plans subsea oil recovery
BP is preparing to deploy a system to siphon crude oil spewing out of the blown-out well a mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico, but the geyser will continue pouring from the seafloor for at least another week, the AP reports. The system has never been used at such a depth before.
Here's how it works: A 125-ton, 14'X24'X40' dome will be placed over the leak (about 600 feet from the wellhead). A 5,000-foot riser will pump the oil to a tanker on the surface, the Deepwater Enterprise, which will separate the hydrocarbons from the water. BP says the system, which won't be deployed for at least 6-8 days, could collect as much as 85% of the oil rising from the seafloor. The approach wouldn't shut off the leak—something BP is still trying to figure out how to do. Today the company said it will pay "all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs" from the disaster: "BP takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We will clean it up,"The New York Times reports.
From the AP: Even if the well is shut off in a week, fishermen and wildlife officials wonder how long it will take for the Gulf to recover. Some compare it to the Hurricane Katrina that Louisiana is still recovering from after nearly five years. "My kids will be talking about the effect of this when they're my age," said 41-year-old Venice charter boat captain Bob Kenney.
NOAA closes commercial and recreational fishing
Yesterday, NOAA announced that it's stopping all fishing in oil spill-affected waters, largely from the mouth of the Mississippi to Florida's Pensacola Bay, for at least 10 days.
"NOAA scientists are on the ground in the area of the oil spill taking water and seafood samples in an effort to ensure the safety of the seafood and fishing activities," said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator, who met with more than 100 fishermen in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish on Friday night. "I heard the concerns of the Plaquemines Parish fishermen as well other fishermen and state fishery managers about potential economic impacts of a closure. Balancing economic and health concerns, this order closes just those areas that are affected by oil. There should be no health risk in seafood currently in the marketplace."
Obama visits Venice, LA
President Obama visited Louisiana yesterday to take a look at the oil spill response effort. "We're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," he told media at Coast Guard Station Venice. "The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states and it could extend for a long time.  It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home. And that's why the federal government has launched and coordinated an all-hands-on-deck, relentless response to this crisis from day one." [Photo: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley]

Stephen Colbert offers some levity
After all the serious news, a little levity is refreshing. Over at Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert took a lighter tone. "The ocean hasn't seen that much oil since the cast of Jersey Shore all went swimming at the same time." He does get across the severity of the spill, in under three minutes, but manages to convey it in a very entertaining way. Watch here.


FACT SHEET--List of Wildlife Threatened by Oil Spill

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Discharge rate is estimated at 210,000

gallons per day.

The oil will progress northward and

eastward and is estimated to make

landfall along the Mississippi and

Alabama coastline as early as Monday

morning. Other locations along the

Florida panhandle may be affected by

early next week.

Rough weather is forecast for the

weekend and may cause heavy oil

inundation to beach areas.

On-water response operations ceased

late-afternoon Thursday due to the

weather and are not anticipated to start

again until Monday, May 3.

The Response

The first wildlife rehabilitation center is

being established in Venice, LA, and a

second is planned near Mobile, AL.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More than 41 miles of booming has

been deployed, and more booming

is available. Dispersant has been

applied to more than 13 square miles

of oil slick, which has been somewhat

effective in controlling the spread of oil.

The Service is advising the Incident

Command on methods to mitigate the

damage from the oil on wildlife. It

also is conducting, coordinating, and

supervising search and capture for

oiled wildlife.

The Service is conducting aerial flights

to identify oiled wildlife and help

facilitate recovery and treatment.

The Threat to Wildlife

Service personnel are concerned that

many species of wildlife, some already

threatened or endangered, face grave

risk from the spill. Ground surveys this

past week at Breton National Wildlife

Refuge, a 5,000-acre wilderness area,

found more than 34,000 individual birds

including roughly:

2,000 pairs of brown pelicans;

5,000 pairs of Royal Terns;

5,000 pairs of Caspian Terns; and

5,000 pairs of feeding, loafing, and

nesting gulls and other shore birds.

Species that could be affected by the

approaching oil slick include:

The Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill,

Kemp's Ridley Leatherback sea


Large wading birds (Roseate Spoonbill,

Ibis, Heron, Egret);

Beach-nesting terns and gulls (Caspian

Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern,

Least Tern, Laughing Gull, Black


Bayou Sauvage NWR

Breton NWR

Delta NWR

Grand Bay NWR

MS. Sandhill Crane NWR Bon Secour NWR

I 55

I 59

I 10

Gulf of Mexico

Beach-nesting shorebirds (American

Oystercatcher, Wilson's Plover, Snowy


Marsh birds (Mottled Duck, Clapper

Rail, Black Rail, Seaside Sparrow).

National Wildlife Refuges

Up to 20 National Wildlife Refuges

could potentially be affected by the

spill. Four are of immediate concern:

Breton Island National Wildlife


The second oldest wildlife refuge in

the country, established by President

Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. He visited

in 1915, the only refuge he ever visited.

Breton, which includes Breton Island

and all of the Chandeleur Islands in St.

Bernard and Plaquemine Parish, LA,

provides habitat for nesting wading

birds and seabirds, as well as wintering

shorebirds and waterfowl.; 23 species

of seabirds and shorebirds frequently

use the refuge, and 13 species nest on

the various islands. The most abundant

nesters are brown pelicans, laughing

gulls, and royal, Caspian, and Sandwich


Bon Secour

From the French meaning "safe

harbor," Bon Secour contains 7,000

acres of wildlife habitat for migratory

birds, nesting sea turtles and the

endangered Alabama beach mouse.

Refuge beaches serve as nesting sites

for loggerhead and Kemp's Ridley sea

turtles. More than 370 species of birds

have been identified on the refuge

during migratory seasons, including

ospreys and herons.

Grand Bay

Located in coastal Mississippi and

Alabama, Grand Bay National

Wildlife was established in 1992. The

10,200-acre refuge partially overlays

the Grand Bay National Estuarine

Research Reserve. Species found at

the refuge include the gopher tortoise,

red-cockaded woodpecker and brown



Established in 1935 in the delta at

the mouth of the Mississippi River,

Delta NWR comprises 48,800 acres

of marshlands and open water. The

primary purpose of the refuge was

to provide sanctuary and habitat for

wintering waterfowl. Species on the

refuge include: American alligator,

Brown Pelican, Arctic peregrine falcon,

deer, swamp rabbits and piping plover.

The marshes and waterways of support

a diversity of fish species, including

speckled trout, redfish, flounder, catfish

and largemouth bass.


For media: Joint information Center

numbers are 985/902 5231 and

985/902 5240.

Reporters with questions about the

Service's wildlife response can call Tom

MacKenzie at 678/296 6400.

To report claims related to damages:

800/440 0858.

To volunteer: 866-448-5816.

To report oiled or injured wildlife:

866/557 1401

On the web

The USCG Joint Incident Command



Department of the Interior:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

A news site from four government

agencies and private companies BP

and Transocean:



U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Great Mississippi River Cleanup: From St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO


The Great Mississippi River CleanupWhat is The Great Mississippi River Cleanup?

Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) is hosting the first-ever simultaneous one-day cleanup of the Upper Mississippi River from St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO. The Great Mississippi River Cleanup will solicit approximately 800-1000 community volunteers from an estimated 20-30 cities in 5 states along the river to remove disregarded debris from the floodplains and wetlands bordering the Upper Mississippi River.

When is the The Great Mississippi River Cleanup?
Saturday, June 19, 2010, from 9:00am-1:00p

What Cities are Participating?
LL&W is still working to confirm each cleanup location. Below is the list of cities we hope will participate:

St. Paul, MN
Red Wing, MN
Lake City, MN
Wabasha, MN
Winona, MN
LaCrosse, WI
Prairie du Chien, WI
Cassville, WI
Dubuque, IA
Sabula, IA
Bellevue, IA
Clinton, IA
Cordova, IL
Quad Cities, IL/IA
Buffalo, IA
Muscatine, IA
New Boston, IL
Burlington, IA
Fort Madison, IA
Dallas City, IL
Keokuk, IA
LaGrange, MO
Quincy, IL
Louisiana, MO
Clarksville, MO
Grafton, IL
Alton, IL
Wood River, IL
St. Louis, MO

How can I get Involved?
Putting on such an ambitious event takes a lot of work from a lot of people. LL&W is looking for assistance from community volunteers, organizations, and businesses in the following capacities:

Site Coordinators: 
LL&W is looking to appoint at least one locally-based site coordinator, at each location. Site coordinators will be armed with LL&W's guidance and assistance to recruit local volunteers, locate boats and drivers for transporting volunteers, solicit donations for supplies, identify disposal facilities, and more. Please click here for a full description of site coordinator duties. Note that not all duties listed are required. LL&W staff will be available to fill in any gaps that site coordinators may not have the time or expertise to execute. Having said that, duties of site coordinators could easily be split up among co-coordinators within a community.

LL&W is looking for able-bodied volunteers of all ages to assist in garbage collection on the actual day of the cleanup, from 9a-1p. Minors will need to be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Around April 15th, LL&W will have an estimate of the desired number of volunteers needed at each site. This number will reflect the amount of debris needed to be picked up at each site. (i.e. The more garbage there is, the more volunteers we'll need.) All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt or reusable stainless steel water bottle for their participation and a free lunch. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to pre-register.Find the registration form here.

Volunteer Boats and Boat Drivers: 
LL&W is looking for safe and responsible water enthusiasts to assist with hauling volunteers in their boats to cleanup locations. If possible, LL&W is also looking for people who are willing to haul debris in their boats to the boat launch where roll-off dumpsters or other disposal facilities will be in place. #1 RULE: All boat drivers must enforce the wearing of a PFD by each passenger (and the driver him/herself). NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!

LL&W is seeking donations for this event. Please see the wish-list below:

  • Garbage Bags (preferably a durable bag such as contractor strength or Glad ForceFlex)
  • Gloves (leather, Kevlar lined, or cloth) both adult and kid sizes
  • Water (for volunteers)
  • Lunch/Snacks (for volunteers after the cleanup)
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Disposal (dumpsters, trailers, trucks, to haul debris to disposal facilities)
    Printing (maps, flyers, posters, banners, t-shirts, water bottles, etc.)
  • First-Aid Kits
  • Fuel (for boats)

Who do I Contact if I have Questions?
Project Coordinator: Tammy Becker, 309.236.0725,
Project Assistant: Nora Coyne-Logan, 309.236.0728,



Register Online

Tammy Becker
Project Coordinator






Oceanographers are keeping their eyes on the Gulf Loop Current, which could spread the oil slick through the Florida Keys and to North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.

Mon May 3, 2010 09:18 AM ET 
Content provided by Eric Niiler, Discovery News
Comments | Leave a Comment
  • The Gulf Loop Current is a clockwise swirl of warm water in the Gulf of Mexico during spring and summer.
  • If the oil slick meets up with the current, the disaster could be carried all the way to Cape Hatteras.
  • The coral reefs in the Florida Keys are also in the path of the current.
loop current

CLICK ON THE PICTURE to see how the Gulf Loop Current could move around the Gulf of Mexico and up the coast.
Naval Oceanographic Office

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is expected to strike the Louisiana coastline today, and officials are bracing for impacts to shorebirds, turtles, shellfish and other endangered wildlife. But many ocean scientists are now raising concerns that a powerful current could spread the still-bubbling slick from the Florida Keys all the way to Cape Hatteras off North Carolina.

These oceanographers are carefully watching the Gulf Loop Current, a clockwise swirl of warm water that sets up in the Gulf of Mexico each spring and summer. If the spill meets the loop -- the disaster becomes a runaway.

"It could make it from Louisiana all the way to Miami in a week, maybe less." said Eric Chassignet, director of the Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University. "It is pretty fast."

Right now, some computer models show the spill 30 to 50 miles north of the loop current. If the onshore winds turn around and push the oil further south: "That would be a nightmare," said Yonggang Liu, research associate at the University of South Florida who models the current. "Hopefully we are lucky, but who knows. The winds are changing and difficult to predict."

Imagine the loop current as an ocean-going highway, transporting tiny plankton, fish and other marine life along a watery conveyor belt. Sometimes it even picks up a slug of freshwater from the Mississippi River -- sending it on a wandering journey up to North Carolina.

The Gulf Loop Current acts like jet of warm water that squirts in from the Caribbean basin and sloshes around the Gulf of Mexico before being squeezed out the Florida Strait, where it joins the larger and more powerful Gulf Stream current.

Fishermen follow the current as a harbinger of good catches. It has also transported algal blooms -- toxic "red tides" -- from the Gulf of Mexico to beaches and bays along the southeast Atlantic coast.

Oceanographer George Maul worries that the current could push the oil slick right through the Florida Keys and its 6,000 coral reefs.

"I looked at some recent satellite imagery and it looks like some of the oil may be shifted to the south," said Maul, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "If it gets entrained in the loop, it could spread throughout much of the Atlantic."

In fact, new animation from a consortium of Florida institutions and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts a slight southward shift in the oil over the next few days.

Emergency responders are working to cap the oil spill at its undersea source, but admit it could be weeks before the well is shut down.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are expected to release their predictions of the spill and the loop current early this week. A spokeswoman for the agency did not respond to requests for comment by Discovery News.

-Eric Niiler is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.

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