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 3, 2010

Bureaucratic slick...

I am finally catching up in my journal, and there is much to report.  On Thursday, I followed the leads given to me by Dr Miller and Ms Dunne.  These led me into a bureaucratic boondoggle.  The first step was to call Fish and Wildlife Services.  My calls repeatedly went to voice mail, and ultimately I was left to navigate the myriad of options on the web site (none of which spelled out bird rehabilitation).  I finally concluded that the Migratory Bird Permit was likely what I needed, but upon opening the application it was made clear that permits routinely took 60 to 90 days to process.  I filled out what I could on the application, then held off submitting it due to the required sponsorships (references), not to mention a $50.00 processing fee for what was likely an anachronistic effort.  I again placed a call to FWS, and missed their return call.  I immediately called back – again speaking with voice mail.  I await another call back.

I was aware that Anderson Cooper was reporting on the disaster from an open-air outdoor set near the levy in the French Quarter.  I showed up, and one of his guests – CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman – was being interviewed on his visit to the rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson.  I spoke with him after the interview, and he was kind enough to give me the name and number of the director of the oiled wildlife rehabilitation efforts – Jay Holcomb of IBRRC (International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation).  He mentioned that over the past 24 hours, twice as many distressed, oiled birds have been admitted.  The pace and urgency was building.