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BP Gulf Oil Spill - USDA Response

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is closely coordinating with other federal departments to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the Gulf oil spill. USDA continues to provide expertise and resources to assist wildlife rescue, increase migratory bird habitat, as well as plan for longer-term needs for wetland restoration once the oil spill has been contained. And while the full impact of the spill on the regional economy of the Gulf States is not yet known, USDA continues to communicate with state officials in the affected region to ensure that their needs are met and USDA services are not interrupted. USDA is using all available options through its nutrition assistance programs to ensure no family goes hungry and rural housing mortgage assistance to ease financial burdens of rural low-income people in the area, not only for those affected by the oil spill, but all low-income people in those States.

Community Assistance

Nutrition Programs - USDA nutrition assistance programs can help to mitigate the food insecurity likely to be faced by families affected by the BP Gulf oil spill. Each of these programs offers particular sources of food assistance to children and their families experiencing adverse economic conditions.

Housing Programs - USDA Rural Development's Rural Housing Service (RHS) can respond rapidly and effectively to economic downturns and disruptions; USDA will continue to work with RHS borrowers to identify options and waivers available to improve access to needed mortgage assistance.

Rural Development Disaster Assistance

Environmental Assistance

Migratory Birds - The BP Gulf oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is adversely affecting the marshes and coastlands used by shorebirds, waterfowl and other birds that are traveling through the area on their annual migration south. Under a new Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, USDA will work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to manage portions of their land to enhance habitat for migrating birds.

View Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative video

Learn more

Wildlife Support - USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA Forest Service continue to support the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Activities include: surveying wildlife, property and livestock; responding to hotline reports of oiled wildlife; oiled wildlife capture for transfer to rehabilitators; collecting dead wildlife; as well as training staff on capture techniques.

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