Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rescue Me: Birds, Fish & Other Wildlife Threatened by the Gulf Oil Spill

Today my thoughts are with the wildlife rescue volunteers at International Bird Rescue Research Center and other groups as they get ready for the call that everyone dreads.

IBRRC's site announced that:

As of today the spill is still over 30 miles offshore. That is good for coastal birds but it all depends what happens with the winds and currents. There are trajectories that show that if the certain conditions occur then some of the oil could impact coastal areas anywhere from Louisiana to Florida. See: Oil Spill Expanding, May Reach Gulf Coast

If the spill stays offshore then the impact will likely be minimal to birds. Coastal birds that are highly at risk if the spill hits shore are brown and white pelicans, terns, gulls, shorebirds, skimmers and herons. Nesting and feeding areas for birds and sea turtles such as marshes and beaches could be impacted.
Update: Their emergency response team has been activated

Hotline for volunteers:

IBRRC has been receiving many calls from people wishing to volunteer to help at the Gulf Oil Spill. Although our team has been activated, anyone wishing to help must contact the local Community and Volunteer Hotline at 1 866-448-5816.

To report oiled wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill please call the Wildlife reporting hotline at 1 866-557-1401.

Thank you,
The IBRRC Team

Twitter: @IBRRC

You can also follow their work on Facebook
What's At Stake:

press release for the National Audubon Society says that:

"For birds, the timing could not be worse; they are breeding, nesting and especially vulnerable in many of the places where the oil could come ashore."

Sensitive coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are all potential targets of the growing spill. "The efforts to stop the oil before it reaches shore are heroic, but may not be enough," added Driscoll. "We have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, including a true catastrophe for birds."

In Florida, Audubon is recruiting volunteers and making its Center for Birds of Prey available for bird cleansing and rehabilitation. Elsewhere, the organization is gearing up to help mobilize volunteers and provide other assistance in the event the oil reaches sensitive shorelines.
Blue Fin tuna and other ocean creatures are also at great risk as is tourism, and thus jobs, in the states affected.

The Live Science website looks at
Clean Up Tech and warns that

Responders will have their hands full...As the Deepwater Horizon cleanup effort is demonstrating, many of the current methods of cleaning up oil spills are decidedly low-tech.
A Greenpeace activist reminds us that:

The phrase “oil spill clean up” is an oxymoron. In most cases, the lion’s share of spilled oil is not removed from the environment, it is dispersed, diluted, burned, or it sinks in globs, or it is left behind in one form or another to wreak havoc on the environment for years to come...Regardless of where the fault lies with the Deepwater Horizon — BP, TransOcean, or some other entity — people who have lost loved ones or their livelihoods because of the spill will have to fight a long, uphill battle for recompense and justice.

On a related note, just last year BP and TransOcean aggressively opposed new safety regulations proposed by the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling. The impetus for MMS’s new regulations was a study that found numerous accidents occurring in the industry.

This is bad, folks. Offer help, supplies and donations where and how you can.


Related Articles:

600-Plus Species At Risk

Oil Spill FAQ

Oil Composition & Chemicals and the Effects on Wildlife

Other websites:

Deep Water Horizon Response
Updates on coordinated efforts.

Note: has a sign up sheet for general volunteers.

Painting: Brown Pelican by Judith Vivell. You can view her art gallery at her website.

The endangered Brown Pelican is that state bird of Louisiana and is at great risk from this spill.

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