Preparedness Measures for Oil Spill Cleanup Volunteers

A natural inclination for many coastal residents is the desire to volunteer and help with the cleanup of oil spills that threaten the marine environment. Crude oil is a hazardous substance and spill responders don’t take handling it lightly.

Hazardous Materials Training for Oil Spill Volunteers

A person qualified at the technician level to respond to an oil spill response has competed a 24-hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) course and takes an 8-hour refresher class each year. There often are emergency courses like those offered by organizations like Prince William Sound Community College ( to potential responders following major spill incidents.

People willing to serve in oil spill cleanup operations as volunteers, once they become aware of an incident, are known as convergent volunteers. There are provisions in federal law [40 CFR 300 Part 185 (c)] that recognize the value of these volunteers and define how this group can be utilized during a spill emergency. Convergent volunteers are not likely to be used in physical oil removal or remedial activities without additional safety training, but are very useful in efforts like wildlife rehabilitation, placement of defensive boom or beach cleanup.

An Oil Spill Cleanup Volunteer’s Equipment Kit

Boating Trips on Loch Ness, Scotland

With its deep, dark, and murky waters, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in Scotland by volume due to its depth. With more than 20 miles of water surface area, it has become a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons such as boating, fishing, and most importantly, spotting the legendary monster named “Nessie”. According to the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, there have been more than 1,000 reliable sightings of the creature ranging from eyewitness accounts to photos and videos. With its deepest point reaching approximately 755 feet along with the low visibility due to the surrounding soil content, these details only add to the mystery. Boating trips have become big business for the relatively small towns surrounding Loch Ness, and they can provide easy transportation to beautiful vantage points as well as aid in a personal search for “Nessie”.

Villages on Loch Ness

There are only a handful of villages in the vicinity of Loch Ness, with many of them in rural areas. With more than 200,000 annual visitors, Drumnadrochit is considered the Loch Ness focal point with many boats leaving the northern shores of the lake. The equally beautiful southern area of Loch Ness can provide …

Combine Whale Watching with a Boating Vacation: Corporate Sailing Trip Opportunities for Naturalists

Any time spent at sea provides the opportunity to observe wild animals, from enormous whales down to the smallest plankton.

Watching Whales from Boats

Whales, and their smaller cousins the dolphins and porpoises, can pop up (literally) almost anywhere in the ocean. It can be very frustrating if a pair of binoculars are not ready to hand. The best solution is to keep them constantly around the neck.

Seals and sea-lions can often be spotted closer to shore, and often hauled up on the rocks.

Seabirds will be constant companions on any sea trip, sometimes in vast numbers. There are so many species that it is useful to carry a local field guide, or a notebook and pencil (still writes when wet!) to jot down descriptions for later identification.

Find Out Where to Watch Whales

  • Obviously anyone owning a moored boat will be restricted to trips in the location of the moorings. Local knowledge will be available about possible sightings at different times of the year.
  • Trailing a boat from home to the coast on holiday will open up many more opportunities, and a little research will uncover likely places.


  • Hiring a boat for a family holiday naturally gives