The Gulf Spill, How You Can Help

| posted on May 21, 2010

Satellite image of the oil spill taken on May 21, 2010 // Photo:

Satellite image of the oil spill taken on May 21, 2010 // Photo:

By Alex Wilson

On April 20 a British Petroleum oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, sank, and began to leak between 5,000 and 95,000 gallons of crude per day. (Some scientists even estimate the spill’s volume to be larger, citing numbers that would put the fallout closer to 126-million gallons total, which would make this incident roughly eleven times the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989.) And while the frontend of the slick has only just begun to reach shore, the rig continues to leak, deepening fears that this situation will only get worse.

“In the next week or so we’ll really get a sense of how bad this is,” say Surfrider’s Environmental Director, Chad Nelson. “It’s going to hit the beaches along the Gulf Coast and there’s a chance it could get sucked into the Gulf Stream and wrap around and hit the whole East Coast of Florida as well. We really don’t know at this point. But even if they cut the thing off tomorrow, it could still impact the beaches for weeks. The whole Gulf is literally starting to fill up with oil and now that oil is heading toward the coast.”

In an effort to track, document, and aid in the cleanup effort, Surfrider has partnered with SkyTruth and the Ocean Conservancy to launch an online “spill tracker” where anyone can upload photos and submit an incident report of the conditions at their local beach. “We’re going to be collecting reports both before and after the spill hits the coast,” says Nelsen, which means the organizations have asked anyone with access to the affected regions for immediate help.

To get involved, visit

  • Why did it take a month???

    I grew up a reader of this mag and many of my enviromental views have been shaped by past editors.


    I seriously doubt SAM GEORGE would of sat on his hands. You guys let the GULF OF MEXICO down.


    PS> this is going to be way more impactful then any stupid TOLL ROAD but I guess ORANGE COUNTY wont see any oil so its really not that important??? right…..

  • MIk

    Imagine if an American well had done this to the UK?????? We should be suing BP into bankrupcy. And fining them for all of the bloated savings.

  • hook

    well when it does wrap around florida we’ll get our first tropical storm of the year which will send all this bullshit straight up to maine and beyond. until then, when everyone’s vacation to the beach is ruined, may we see a uprise in the general public. too bad the surf industry has their heads up their asses too! couldn’t agree more with the person above me.

  • Greg

    I can see it now – another reason for east coaster surfers to flee the pain that is the atlantic and move to SoCal. Yipee…

  • Straun

    I agree. What the hell took you so long. Not only is it a month later but you satellite picture and information are out of date.

  • Ricko

    Its sad day with all the finger point and whining that the surf industry didn’t weigh in sooner… like its going to help the situation any…
    If you are unhappy with the Surfrider Foundation then you are unhappy with yourself… get off you a$$ and get involved… otherwise STFU!

  • Phil

    Although its lame Surfer took a month to get on this, has out dated images and all… we all need to be focused on something else besides the blame game, a solution.

    Lemmie start by saying Greg’s comment was totally lame. East Coast surfers to flee the pain of the atlantic. I’ve lived on the east coast my entire life, never been in any ocean besides the atlantic. Although I wish to travel and even though I’m moving to Cali next summer for college and to start a new life, I’m not fleeing any pain, in fact, I dont think anyone is.

    On another note. We all need to get involved. A great step to take is to join the Surfrider Foundation like Ricko started. Also, start going to your local Salons/Barber Shops and ask them to start bagging the hair that they collect and send that hair to foundations that are using the scrap hair and hay to try and collect the oil and skim it off the surface. Its not a complete solution, but it will help control the spill.

    This is not a time to start placing blame or point fingers, this is a serious issue. One that can forever f*ck up the ocean, its in the gulf now, but it can move anywhere. Their saying it could hit new york as soon as fall.

  • Lisa Muir Wakley

    I live in NW Florida and what is happening here is going to have impact for centuries on the eco system. Alot of good people are going to take financial losses for living in this water front community.Please come if you were vactioning here or are just curious ,spend your money and make a difference for us.The water is still looking quite nice here in the NW Florida and you can bet we are surfing. Lisa Muir Wakley