If British Petroleum were an enemy on a mission to despoil
our coastal waters, they are executing a perfect war plan.

BP has dodged regulations which could have prevented this crisis, yet ironically
has imposed its own regulations that hobble relief efforts at every level. BP is clearly
calling the shots, as the Coast Guard defers to their lead and the federal government
struggles to establish any effective command and control.

These are the experiences and reflections of one person who came to help this embattled area and was turned away...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bird rescues increase dramatically...

The day started with a phone call from the paraprofessional coordinator from FWS (Resee Collins).  We had a very pleasant conversation, and she informed me that I would be placed on the list as a "high level responder".  I was informed that preference was given to local responders before tapping into the pool of non-locals.  So I'm happy about that, but by any measure it seems rather amazing it took me a week just to be placed on the list.

In the meantime, the number of oiled birds collected by the rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson has increased dramatically.  Consider that as of last Thursday a total of 66 oiled birds had been presented to the facility since the start of organized wildlife rescue operations.  As of yesterday, that number increased to 415.  That is an increase of 530% in just 6 days.  The pace and volume of rescue efforts can only be expected to increase as recover efforts expand.

Curiously, the AP wrote an article about the pelicans, stating that the fully recovered birds were being released in St. Petersburg, Florida.  I found that very curious, since the gulf coast of Florida is clearly in the trajectory of the slick movement.  Current trajectory charts show that the loop current may carry the slick down to the Florida Keys and up the Atlantic coast.  How close this will approach the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area is uncertain, especially in the context of current highly active hurricane season predictions.  The problem is likely far more complex than any simple assertions or lay conclusions I can make in this blog, but I am never-the-less very concerned that until this spill is fully capped and hurricane season is over, there is no truly safe haven for these rescued and rehabilitated animals.

I had the pleasure of meeting an OSHA-contracted safety and training consultant, and have more information on pursuing programs that may further qualify me in this response.  We'll see what transpires.