Oil spill related volunteer opportunities and hotline information available for Walton County residents

May 8, 2010

Coastal dune lake outfall at Eastern Lake. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Walton County officials and local agencies will need your help

Updated May 17
As Walton County residents wait in trepidation over the impact our shorelines will have from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there are several ways to prepare for the uncertain future. Staying in touch with local developments and volunteering are ways to cope by being proactive.

The county has been in contact and is working with State and federal agencies in preparing Walton County for the potential disastrous effects the oil could have and have a plan of action in place.

It’s safe to say that Walton County residents have a passion for the beautiful natural landscape of our area, and there are many who want to do all they can to help protect our beaches and wildlife.

As we all know, the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is grave. Cooperating with local agencies and volunteering will be vital for restoration efforts in the coming weeks, months and perhaps years.

Photo courtesy Florida Audubon

Wildlife, especially birds and mammals will be the most severely affected initially by this disaster. Do not attempt to rescue any injured wildlife as the crude oil is toxic and additional stress can create even more damage to wildlife. Please remember that once the oil is on the beach only individuals with specific training will be allowed onto the beach to conduct rescues, and under NO circumstances should you handle a suspected oiled animal.

Only hazmat trained individuals can assist in the local rescue of wildlife. Local hazmat training opportunities for volunteers will be posted as soon as available.

Oiled or injured wildlife contact and volunteer info:
To report oiled or injured wildlife in an area designated as oiled, call 800-557-1401. The Oiled Wildlife Hotline is not manned and will be checked for messages hourly.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Rescue in Destin is equipped and prepared to respond to oiled wildlife found on beaches and are working with the Tri State Birds, the designated rescue operation for our region.  If you find a suspected oiled animal please call them immediately. They will provide rescue and supportive care until the animal is ready for transport to one of the regional wash and rehab stations. Oiled wildlife will be suffering from shock, hypo or hyperthermia, and stress and is typically stabilized for 24 – 48 hours before washing begins. Calling them directly at 850-650-1880 will save valuable time in the treatment process. They are also seeking volunteers without hazmat training to help at the refuge answering phones and helping at the refuge. To volunteer, email info@ecwildliferefuge.com with your contact info.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Rehabilitators in Niceville will also take in injured wildlife: Wildlife Rehabilitators can be reached at 850-678-6584 or 850-974-6584

Florida Audubon offers volunteer opportunities, Click here

Volunteer Information Walton County:
The County is asking for the public’s help if needed. You can call the Walton County Hotline: 850-267-2000 and give your name and contact information if you are available to assist. The Walton County Sheriff’s website: http://www.waltonso.org/ Download a volunteer application here: http://www.waltonso.org/WCSO-Oil-Volunteer-App.pdf. After filling out the application, email it to:  ccox@waltonso.org

Walton County Hazmat training:

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill response volunteer training has been secured for Walton County.
The training will consist of three modules:
•    Module 1 – 45 min.: for general public volunteers (“unpaid”) with NO contact with spill product or affected wildlife.
•    Module 2  –  45 min.(in addition to Mod. 1):  will emphasize safety for those “paid” volunteers and employees working for contractors
•    Module 3  – 4 hours (in addition to Mod.s 1 & 2):  For Agency employees and personnel associated with entities such as Humane Society, Friends of Beaches; Turtle Rescue ops etc.; to be presented along with Mods 1&2 for a total 6 hour training course.

The contractor for BP Oil (PEC Premiere) will handle the scheduling for any training in relation to Deepwater Horizon. Those interested in registering for a class should contact the toll free lines 866-647-2338 or 866-448-5816

Residents looking to volunteer their time toward prevention and clean-up in Walton County are asked to go to the home page of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office web site, www.waltonso.org and complete an Oil Spill Volunteer Application.  The Application can be emailed to ccox@waltonso.org, faxed to 267-1350 or you may drop your application off at the Santa Rosa Beach Substation Monday through Friday 8 AM through 5 PM.  In addition, the web site will keep the public informed of any development concerning this incident and potential impacts.

Across Florida:

Oil spill related environmental contact information for Walton:
To report oil on land, or for general community information, call the Walton hotline at 850-267-2000
Website information/updates: http://www.waltonso.org/

General regional information:
A great resource for regional environmental information: http://gulfseagrant.tamu.edu/oilspill/index.htm

•    Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: 
•    Submit alternative response technology, services or products:
(281) 366-5511
•    Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: 
(281) 366-5511
•    Submit a claim for damages: 
(800) 440-0858
•    Report oiled wildlife:
(866) 557-1401
•     Register your professional services: (281) 366-5511

There are rapid response teams staged to deploy to shorelines affected by oil to evaluate and determine an appropriate clean-up effort to minimize the impact to the environment. To report any sightings of oil residue, please call BP’s oil report line at (866) 448-5816 and Walton County hotline at 850-267-2000.
· If any air quality changes are suspected, residents may report them at http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/.
· Residents and visitors concerned about Florida’s air quality may view an up-to-date map with pollutant concentrations at www.airnow.gov.
· Homeowners may be able to help prevent any oil from reaching yards and damaging sensitive vegetation by utilizing sandbags or sorbent booms. To obtain more information on these types of protective measures, please contact BP’s community information line at (866) 448-5816.

Oil spill related claims:
To discuss spill related damage claims such as docks, boats or property call 1-800-440-0858.

Additional numbers:

The Florida Oil Spill Information Line will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. That number is: (888) 337-3569

For more information on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon, follow www.Twitter.com/FLDEPalert or call the Florida Oil Spill Information Line at 888-337-3569.

Attorney General’s fraud hotline for price gouging 1-866-966-7226
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner gas price-gouging hotline 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) 1-800-640-0886 TTY
Fishermen who wish to contact BP 1-800-440-0858
To report tarballs or other evidence of oil on Florida’s coastline call the Rapid Response Team 1-866-448-5816
Report oiled wildlife to the Joint Information Center 1-866-557-1401
Seabirds and shorebirds are protected by law. Report anyone harming or harassing these birds or nest disturbances to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC (3922)
Florida State Parks camping or cabin reservations 1-850-245-2157
To file a claim with BP 1-800-440-0858
Florida Department of Financial Services small business assistance hotline 1-850-413-3089 or toll-free at
1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236)
Business Owner Insurance Coverage Hotline 850-413-3100 or toll free 
1-800-342-2762 TDD: 850-410-9700
BP’s community information line and volunteer line 1-866-448-5816
To register as a consultant, contractor, vendor, or submit information on alternative response technology, services, products, vessels of opportunities, or suggestions 1-281-366-5511
Florida Relay Services, the communications link for people who are Hearing Impaired 711
Florida Department of Emergency Management TTY
1-800-226-4329 TTY
Joint Information Center Twitter Updates

Joint Information Center Facebook Updates
Deepwater Horizon Response
Joint Information Center website

    1. Your posting represents excellent work on potential oil spill here and ways to help as a volunteer. Keep the information coming on hotlines and websites to tap into for those looking for avenues through which to become involved. Again, your collection of information is invaluable. Thanks.

    1. I am trying to get certified for the 40 hr class hazmat class.Also any training that is required for vessels on the water. At this time I have the 4 hr class.During the class phone calls were received to instructor down playing the class from MC252 to mo3s or mo3m.Ten finnally to mo3s ONLY.NO marine sertifacasion.What should i do.Oil is comeing up on or beachs.I live a mile from this.Our work is gone!! THANK YOU

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