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Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
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Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Oil Spill: Teacher and Student Resources

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The following material was compiled by the Office of Environmental Education (OEE) of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for formal and non-formal educators. The list focuses primarily on resources relevant to educators and students (primarily K-12), but it is not a comprehensive list of resources. While care has been taken to review most of the material presented, teachers should use their best judgement and discretion in the selection of materials for use with their students (especially links leading off of the main pages identified below). The OEE would like to thank the educators from around the Gulf who contributed links and resources. Additional items may be submitted to Greg Ira at and for inclusion in future updates of the list.

Educational Materials and Resources for Teachers and Students

Caution: Oil is a hazardous substance and teachers should avoid conducting field or classroom labs with it. Also, please keep in mind safety (see National Science Teachers Association NSTA Position Statement on Lab Safety) and ethical (see NSTA Position Statement on the Responsible use of Live Animals) considerations when conducting any experiments related to issues such as the Gulf Oil Spill.

Communicating the Oil Spill with Young Students

Student Blogs

Volunteer/Service Opportunities for Teachers and Students

The following volunteer and service opportunities may be relevant for older youth with parental approval and supervision.

Pre-Landfall Coastal Cleanups

Volunteer Florida:

Students and Teachers Reporting Information to Authorities

EPA’s National Response Center

If you see or smell pollution related to the oil spill contact the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Response Center: 1-800-424-8802

Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL)

  • State of Florida General Information Hotline: (985) 902 5231
  • The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice. The number for residents to call is: 800-342-3557.

Volunteer Florida Foundation Coast Watchers

Coast Watchers will work within the coastal communities where they live or visit and commit to do the following:

  • Report injured or oiled animals to the Wildlife Distress Hotline: 1-866-557-1401
  • Report oiled shoreline to: 1-866-448-5816
  • Report a change in Air Quality to:

Coast Watchers are not permitted to enter off-limit areas to obtain observations and must not make contact with oiled wildlife, vegetation, and beaches due the health concerns associated with contact. Citizens wanting to become a Coast Watcher do not require any special training or registration. However, they should be conscious of the coastal environment in their community. If a Coast Watcher observes contaminated wildlife, vegetation, orshoreline, it should be reported immediately to the numbers above. For up-to-date volunteer opportunities regarding the oil spill, visit