Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Welcome to LIFE of Florida!

Our secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning.

There is no cost to be part of LIFE of Florida -- just join in at our email discussion and announcement list, Florida LIFE, where you can download your membership card -- good for educational discounts throughout FL -- and stay informed and updated on events, issues and resources, and connect with other informal learners throughout the state.

If you're just getting started in homeschooling, be sure to check out our LIFE of Florida Quick Links, our list of Useful Docs, and our enormous collection of resources in the side columns, and visit our Inclusive Homeschool Support Groups page to find a group near you.

If you'd like your regional inclusive support group to be networked with LIFE of Florida, drop us a line with a group description, contact and other relevant information and we'll add you, free of charge, to our directory. All your group members will be automatically considered members of LIFE of Florida, and are entitled to membership cards and all the benefits we offer. Virtual school families are also welcome to enjoy our resources, support and camaraderie.

We're all inclusive and free of charge, and we're here for you!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oil Spill and Volunteer Assistance Info

From the Florida Master Naturalist program:
_______________________________________________
As the environmental catastrophe referred to as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill continues to unfold in the Gulf, there may be need for our help. I know there is also great interest in the progress on containing the spill and the efforts to clean up the mess it leaves, which may eventually include shorelines in Florida.

I have waited to send this email to ensure I provide the best and most accurate information available.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the spill and containment efforts, please refer to the official website for the Deepwater Horizon Response at: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/

This website has a great deal of information, including daily updates.

To see an image of the approximate extent of the spread of the spill in the Gulf, as reported and prepared by USA Today, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/oil-spill-map.htm.

Volunteer assistance is needed and the official FLORIDA volunteer response website for the Deep Horizon Oil Spill is through the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service at: http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org//

There are many links for various volunteer activities on this website.

Note that a companion website: http://www.1-800-volunteer.org/1800Vol/volunteerflorida/viewEventDetails.do?eventId=31601

Specifies that:

“Volunteers will not be in direct contact with oil or oil-contaminated materials. Oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by trained, paid workers such as Qualified Community Responders (QCR) and not by volunteers. Oiled wildlife will only be handled by trained, contracted professionals. Even though volunteer opportunities with the oil spill are limited, volunteer opportunities in your local community are limitless. Many organizations need support and service now more than ever. The oil spill is bringing communities together, and your volunteer service strengthens local responding groups. Thank you for the time you give now, and the time you will continue to give after the oil spill.”

However, there may be a great deal of assistance needed doing other services, and I encourage you to register.

Additional ways to assist and report important information include:

Reporting oiled wildlife – the FLORIDA hotline to call to report oiled wildlife is: 1-866-557-1401

Reporting oil on the shoreline - the FLORIDA hotline to call to report oiled wildlife is: 1-877-272-8335 (1-877-2-SAVE-FL) or #DEP from your cell phone.

Two documents that provide useful information regarding oil spill reporting can be viewed (and printed) online at:

http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/Deepwater/docs/OilSpillReportingGuide.pdf

http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/Deepwater/docs/OilFactSheet.pdf

Let’s hope the latest efforts to contain the spill are successful and that Florida’s coastal environment is not severely damaged, but let’s also prepare to assist in the clean-up and associated actions to the extent we are able.

Sincerely,

Marty

Martin B. Main, PhD
Professor, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Program Leader, Florida Master Naturalist Program (http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/)
University of Florida
SW Florida Research and Education Center
2685 State Road 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142
ph: 239.658.3400 fax: 239.658.3469

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