In the months since the BP oil spill, Leanne Sarco, a ranger at the wildlife preserve in the Gulf of Mexico along the fragile barrier islands of Louisiana, recruited an army of volunteers to collect thousands oil-drenched hermit crabs, cleaning and releasing them into a saltwater marsh about 15 miles inland.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries did not mandate a rescue of the crabs. No one knew exactly how to save them from suffocating in the oil inside their shells. Though small, hermit crabs are essential to the ecosystem by eating algae, which helps fish and bird populations thrive.
She turned to Facebook and put out a call to the world. People soon began to arrive, strangers who came to help, some even sleeping on her couch for weeks.
(READ the story in the CS Monitor)