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When an Oil Spill Hits New Jersey, Will You Know What to Do?

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When the BP oil spill hit the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal communities, our office was inundated with calls from our members and the general public who wanted to go down and help. Many were disappointed to learn that because they lacked the appropriate training and knowledge, there was very little they could do. The best way to respond to an oil spill or other catastrophic pollution event is to prepare in advance.
 
To give people the training and tools they need to enhance New Jersey’s response to oil spills, we launched the SpillSpotters Network in spring 2012. We are building and training this network of citizen volunteers to identify and monitor our coastal natural resources and assist in oil spill response. 

Citizens can play a key role in an oil spill response. After all, it’s our boaters, kayakers, fishermen, birders, beachcombers, and hikers that know our coast the best. Citizens also have a vested interest in protecting their local waterways. Before, during and after an environmental catastrophe, we need as many eyes on the water as we can get to make sure our coastal treasures are not in harm’s way.