I Live in the Gulf and Want to Help
Around the Gulf
The Waterbird Watch program, led by Audubon, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is enlisting volunteers to track migrating birds and help collect valuable population data for their science team. They’re focusing on birds at select National Wildlife Refuges in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas. For more information, read their call for volunteers.
Volunteers participating in the Audubon Coastal Bird Survey, launched soon after the spill began, are collecting vital information about birds that live in the Gulf year-round or for part of the year. Teams, led by a birding mentor, patrol stretches of coastline and document weather conditions, habitat conditions, the species and numbers of coastal birds, the physical condition and behavior of the birds, and the presence of oil or other man-made substances. This ongoing study will be vital for the long-term recovery of wildlife affected by the spill. If you’re a birder and interested in participating, contact Dustin Renaud (Mississippi) or Kelsey Blum (Alabama).
Help restore vital habitat on Dauphin Island! With support from a TogetherGreen Innovation Grant, Audubon is working with the Weeks Bay Foundation and Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries to remove several aggressively invasive species that are threatening bird populations on Dauphin Island. Target species include: Cogon Grass, Chinese Privet and Chinese Tallow. Initial treatment is working, but there is still much more work to be done! To get involved or find out about other Alabama based volunteer opportunities, please contact Kelsey Blum.
If you live in Florida, consider volunteering your time to become a Bird Steward. Bird Stewards help protect nesting birds and their young, educating people, answering questions, and asking people not to disturb nests. Stewards receive training and information from Audubon. To find out more about becoming a steward, contact the coordinators of the program in each of these areas:
- Florida’s Gulf Coast: Marianne Korosy
- Florida Panhandle: Alan Knothe
- Northeast Florida: Monique Borboen
- Not sure which area you’re in? Contact Jacqui Sulek
Live near the Pascagoula River? Help inform future conservation efforts by taking part in the Pascagoula River Biodiversity Inventory. Volunteers are needed to help document all the living organisms in the river basin. Or consider volunteering with the Pascagoula River Audubon Center: You can sign up to help with habitat restoration activities or offer your services as a Beach Steward, helping least tern chicks survive on Mississippi’s front beaches. Contact the Pascagoula River Audubon Center to volunteer! (Click on the “Contact Us” link.)
We’d love to know if you decide to volunteer your time in the Gulf. Share your story, ask questions about what others have done, and encourage more people to take action on our Facebook page!