Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Resources


To call the Gulf Oil Spill unfortunate would be a grave understatement. However, it does provide us with a unique and very valuable educational moment. Below is a list of teacher resources* concerning the spill.

*The following materials were compiled in part by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Education (OEE) 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. New resources are added daily.  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).

Educational Materials and Resources for Teachers and Students:

Philippe Cousteau discusses the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill on regional wildlife and ecosystems as well as focusing on how the oil spill will affect us now and into the future:

Pensacola Junior College Public Broadcasting:

National Geographic:

Oil Spill Academic Task Force Web Site (university level):

Scholastic Books:

What Happens When an Oil Spill Occurs (McDougal Littell):

PBS News Hour Extra:

7. PBS news Hour Facts and Figures:

8. NASA Images:

9. NY Times Learning Network Lesson:

10. Smithsonian Ocean Planet Pollution Solutions Lesson Plans:

11. Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Lesson: How would an oil spill affect a marine sanctuary:

12. History of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill:

13. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Bibliography (ARLIS):

14. NOAA Glossary from Prince William’s Oily Mess:

15. Teacher Resources from NOAA’s “Prince William’s Oily Mess:

16. Items identified by Tallahassee 5th Grade Teacher Jason Flom:

1. This Oil Spill in a Graph from Infrastructurist provides some background & perspective:

2. NY Times' tracking map they update daily:

3. NY Times' Graph illustrating the Spill's Effects Underwater:

4. Great Lesson plan on cleaning up oil spills (I did this with my students and they really enjoyed it):

  1. 17.BRIDGE Oil Spill Resources (NOAA Sea Grant and NMEA):

  2. 18.NOAA Office of Response and Restoration—oil spill resources for teachers and students: %29=audience_id&audience_id(audience_chosen)=2

  3. 19.NY Times Time Line of Major Oil Spills:

  4. 20.Boston Globe - Distaster Unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico:

  5. 21.Bill Nelson, PBS NewsHour Oil Spill Ticker:

  6. 22.Google Earth KMLs:

  7. 23.Florida DEP Deepwater Horizon Response Page:

  8. 24.Deepwater Horizon Response (Official Site of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command):

  9. 25.Paper topic Assignment from Ryan Reardon (Alabama K-12):

  10. 26.CNN/NOAA Video Timeline of spill spreading:

  11. 27.Harford County Education Headlines Examiner Education links on the Oil Spill:

  12. 28.Overlay the oil spill on any location in the world:

Communicating the Oil Spill with Young Students

  1. 29.Ranger Rick’s “How to Talk with Kids about the Oil Spill”:

Student Blogs

  1. 30.PBS Kids Blog:

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


Oil Spill Teacher Resources:

A brown pelican is mired in heavy oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Nikole Voisey, 5th Grade Quail Hollow Elem.

Follow the latest updates on our Oil BlogOil_Blog/Oil_Blog.htmlOil_Blog/Oil_Blog.htmlOil_Blog/Oil_Blog.htmlOil_Blog/Oil_Blog.htmlOil_Blog/Oil_Blog.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3
Here is how you can help?