Oil Disaster: how you can help

Today is day 55 of the worst oil spill in our nation's history. This oil spill is bad, really bad. So bad, that the word "spill" falls totally short of describing what's going on. It's an oil disaster.

This disaster is spewing around 50,000 gallons of oil EVERY SINGLE DAY into the Gulf of Mexico -- and has been doing this since April 20th -- affecting the livelihood of millions of people and absolutely devastating ecosystems along the Gulf.

It can be hard to digest exactly what's going down in the Gulf, but I have found some great starting points where you can learn what happened and find the latest updates:

1. The National Wildlife Federation has a very clear article on what the heck happened 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean on April 20th and how wildlife is cleaned.

2. You can see where oil is hitting land in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida here. And, you can track the spread of the oil with this cool online tool (both courtesy of the NYTimes).

3. Read about the effects of the oil on wildlife here and see some photos of the effects of oil on wildlife here (caution: graphic pictures of wildlife).

This disaster can feel totally paralyzing -- it's not like we can go and cap the leak ourselves... But, the good news is, you don't have to be an engineer or a drilling expert to help out the wildlife and people being affected! There are some really important things that you and I can do. Here are just 3 ideas:

1. Volunteer, Speak Up: National Wildlife Federation has ideas on how to volunteer, donate, speak up, and share info online. You can also write a letter to Congress & ask them to fully fund larger coastal restoration projects.

2. Get your hair cut! Salons across the country are donating hair to a group making hair-filled booms (tubes that soak up oil). These booms will keep oil away from our shores and protect wildlife. Find a salon near you >>

3. June 26th: find a beach near you and participate in Hands Across the Sand (lakes & rivers are ok!) - a big demonstration in favor of protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, and fishing industries.

Are you doing something to help the Gulf? Have ideas on how we can do more? I'd really love to hear from you. Please comment below on what you're doing!!