Volunteers are a critical resource to supporting oil spill response efforts in California. If they can be utilized safely and effectively during an oil spill, the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) will activate its volunteer program to support three types of volunteers and their organizations in the following order:
- Pre-trained: Volunteers assist with the rehabilitation of oiled animals. Get involved with UC Davis, Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) Member Organization before a spill occurs. By volunteering with one of OWCN’s member organizations you'll gain valuable experience and be eligible for specialized training in caring for oiled animals. For more information, go to Oiled Wildlife Care Network Volunteer
- Affiliated: Volunteers whose organization has an established role in the oil spill response structure (requires pre-existing arrangement with a government agency). One of these organizations is the CDFW Natural Resource Volunteer Program
- Community: Concerned citizens (also known as spontaneous) who want to help during an oil spill. CDFW may request the public’s support with response activities if needed. If you are viewing this page during an active oil spill and are interested in volunteering, go to CalSpillWatch Volunteer(opens in new tab) for updated information.
Each spill response is unique and maybe require different skillsets. However, efforts are made to match volunteer talents with oil spill response needs as they become available. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and in good physical health to participate in oil spill response activities.