This is not I.T. related but it does require technical solutions. It is also one of the most important topics in modern history, and as such it deserves our attention. Put your eggheads together and let us brainstorm a solution!
The biggest issue is addressing oil that has washed to the Gulf shores. In damaged areas in Alaska, oil still exists in large quantities just below the ground surface, and it seeps up with any mild disturbance, such as rain. We must consider novel actions for eliminating this oil.
The first experiment that comes to mind is to farm large amounts of oil-eating bacteria. Apply this solution to the shoreline via manual sprayers or boat-based powered sprayers. We can use the bacteria to thoroughly eliminate all of the oil that has reached shore.
A major factor to consider is any dangers a solution of bacteria presents to to the applicator (use chemical protection equipment) and to humans and animals that come in contact with the area in the short term (high concentrations present) and long term (little bacteria left.)
The army core of engineers and BP should be heavily experimenting right now to obtain a safe and effective solution. On the news I saw fisherman swabbing up the oil with rags by hand. This is pretty medieval (only the rags have improved since medieval times) and we must apply much more effective solutions.