The state of Florida is asking for coastal residents and visitors to serve as 'coast watchers.' The volunteers would watch for oil-distressed animals and birds, and call for help if they see any wildlife affected by the oil spill.
"It's kind of like the neighborhood crime watch groups. But in this case, we want people to watch for wildlife in need along our beaches," said Tom Linley, of Volunteer Florida, a state agency.
Ruth Wilburn of Calusa Nature Center says, it's a good idea, but warns people to never approach and touch injured wildlife.
"You can be hurt by doing that, and you also can cause the bird or animal to suffer more trauma," said WIlburn. She added that Calusa is trying to get money together to build 15 more enclosures for oil-distressed wildlife, just in case they are needed for rehabilitation.
The numbers to call for injured birds or animals is 1-866 557-1401.
he Clinic for Rehabilitiation of wildlife (CROW) is 472-3644.
You can also contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife service.