Always wanted to do something to help after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but didn’t know what to do? Well now is your chance!

More than six months after the oil spill called attention to the Gulf, The Nature Conservancy (our immediate past president, Ed Pease, serves on their board too) continues to expand and accelerate their ongoing restoration efforts there. Building on the oyster reef restoration begun last year, the Conservancy is working with partners in Alabama to kick off the 100/1000 Restore Coastal Alabama project. This living shoreline project will create reefs that will protect 100 miles of shoreline and create 1,000 acres of marsh.

On January 22-23, 2011, the Conservancy will be laying the first ¼ mile of new oyster reef just north of Helen Wood Park in Mobile Bay, an Alabama state-owned, city-managed park. This is the Conservancy’s first large-scale restoration project in the Gulf since the spill and they and their partners need as many as 2,000 volunteers to get the job done. Participants will stand shoulder to shoulder to move 23,000 bags of oyster shells weighing approximately 10 lbs. each from pallets on the land to create the living shoreline. This labor intensive work will allow volunteers to get their hands dirty on a restoration project and experience first-hand the power of communities working together to restore Mobile Bay and beyond in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Conservancy’s would love to have as many volunteers as possible, but please note that volunteers will be responsible for their own expenses. Because of the nature of the work, volunteers must be at least 14 years old.

More information here:

Photo courtesy and © Beth Maynor Young