Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘after Cosco Busan’

November 30, 2008

More on the Cosco Busan oil spill

Paul Rogers of the San Jose Mercury News has an excellent one year update on the Cosco Busan oil spill on San Francisco Bay. The spill in November 2007 left thousands of birds dead after 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel spewed out into the bay.

…The eerie rainbow sheen is long gone from the water. The damaged ship has changed its name, sailed away and hasn’t returned since. All 69 miles of fouled beaches are cleaned…

Of note from the article:

• To date, the cleanup and legal claims total $90 million.
• Tests on herring eggs have shown developmental abnormalities
• The ship had its name changed to “Hanjin Cairo”

Read more here

November 13, 2008

New wildlife rescue training classes offered

IBRRC is pleased to offer a handful of new day-long wildlife rescue classes, designed by WildRescue’s Rebecca Dmytryk. The first will be offered at IBRRC’s Fairfield, CA bird center on Sunday, December 7, 2008. Others are scheduled for Berkeley, Oakland and Fremont in January and February 2009. Classes in Southern California will also be scheduled soon. See complete list

Participants will be taught successful capture strategies and handling and restraint methods of native species, regulations, re-nesting of young, first aid and stabilization, and disaster response. Completion of this class does not in any way exempt students from local, state, and federal laws governing the capture and possession of oiled or non-oiled wildlife.

Each class is from 8 AM to 5 PM. The classes are only open to those 18 years and older.

More information and sign-up for this training class

This past Saturday, November 7th, response team members Mark Russell, Rebecca Dmytryk and Duane Titus marked the one-year anniversary of the Cosco Busan by teaching a wildlife capture class to a large group of Bay Area citizens. The class, offered by WildRescue, was an overwhelming success, filled with optimism and enthusiasm.

Wildlife rescue is a new and evolving profession. No where else can you find this unique curriculum of skills being taught by those who have been rescuing debilitated wild animals throughout the world for over 37 years. While offering this unique schooling to other wildlife rescue organizations, government agencies, and the public, IBRRC sees this as a means of identifying potential candidates for its response team recruitment campaign – a program funded by a generous grant recently awarded by the San Francisco Foundation Cosco Busan Oil Spill Fund.

In 2009 IBRRC will invite 30 people to participate in a year-long training program to develop the skills they’ll need to join their California based emergency response team. 10 new members will be added to IBRRC oiled wildlife response team and 20 new people will join the rehabilitation team.

Nothing like this has ever been done before. This is a new and exciting step forward in bolstering California’s ability to respond effectively to oiled wildlife.

Download the class flyer

November 1, 2008

IBRRC: A year after Cosco Busan spill response

Making strides towards better response

The size and magnitude of the Cosco Busan gave us the opportunity to learn where we need to improve. We have spent the year making strides to ensure a better response in the event of another major incident. We’d like to share these with everyone.

IBRRC is taking the initiative to improve its ability to have enough trained and experienced people to rescue and rehabilitate oiled animals. Through a generous grant recently awarded by the “The San Francisco Foundation Cosco Busan Oil Spill Fund”, IBRRC will be able to recruit and train 10 additional search and collection personnel and 20 new in-house oiled bird rehabilitation volunteers.

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT: IBRRC’s specially designed warm water pool systems are being upgraded to house an added number of birds requiring this supportive care. Through an anonymous grant and support from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), IBRRC added a new 100-foot long pelican flight aviary to the bird facility in Fairfield. This aviary is able to house up to 100 of the endangered birds. Designs for a new complex of additional aviaries are in the final stages.

ADVANCES IN CARE: After 37 years, IBRRC continues to lead the world with advancements in oiled wildlife capture and rehabilitation. Its net-bottom caging for sea birds was conceived during the 1984 Puerto Rican Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay by IBRRC Director, Jay Holcomb. This year, in collaboration with the OWCN, these pens were modified to incorporate “soft sides”, further reducing potential injury to captive birds.

Additional advancements have been made through their partnership with the OWCN including IBRRC’s keel cushions, protective foot ‘booties’, and aquatic bird diets. IBRRC manages two of the major oiled wildlife care and education facilities built under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand legislation and is a principle participant in the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. Additionally, in partnership with the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW), IBRRC has responded to worldwide oil spills. It is in these oil spill events that IBRRC’s protocols and rehabilitation methods are tested and utilized.

November 1, 2008

Has S.F. Bay recovered a year after oil spill?

Lots of stories will emerge this month on how the fragile San Francisco Bay is doing following last year’s Cosco Busan oil spill. Most of them so far seem to have swallowed the state’s reports verbatim.

The first that I saw is from the San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. Bay seems recovered a year after oil spill

You can certainly debate how well the bay has recovered. I don’t pretend to be a biologist, but common sense – if earlier oil spills are any indication – tells us that longer periods of study are required. See: NOAA: Remaining impacts of Exxon Valdez spill

From a Mother Jones report, Oil Spills are Forever:

In the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, scientists have traced much of the trouble to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, an especially persistent family of chemicals found in oil that can cause deformities, slower growth, and poorer reproduction in many birds and animals.

Read more online about this issue and a interview with Riki Ott who a trained marine toxicologist, she has studied the bilogical and societial issues surrounding the Exxon Valdez spill.

Even a government scientific report posted online, suggests that further study is in order:

…State and federal trustee agencies have been assessing the ecological injuries and impacts to human activities
caused by the Cosco Busan oil spill…1,859 [birds] collected dead, hundreds observed oiled but not captured. Total mortality estimation, taking into account birds missed and scavenged, and dead birds not related to the spill, is on-going. Recovery times will vary across species.

See: Natural Resource Damage Assessment for Cosco Busan Oil Spill (PDF)

October 30, 2008

One year later: OWCN reflects on spill response

A very good update from the leader of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) on the upcoming anniversary of the Cosco Busan oil spill:

“Wildlife Experts Reflect on Anniversary of Big SF Bay Oil Spill”

One year after leading the second-largest rescue and rehabilitation of oiled seabirds in recent California history, UC Davis wildlife health experts are busy preparing for the next major oil spill.

“Our care for the wildlife affected by the Cosco Busan spill in San Francisco Bay demonstrated the excellence of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network as a whole,” said UC Davis wildlife veterinarian Michael Ziccardi, who directs the network. “It showed that a trained staff of dedicated professionals and volunteers, using research-based medicine in pre-established facilities, can save the lives of hundreds of animals that otherwise would have died.”

However, the rescue operation also revealed areas in the program that could be improved, Ziccardi said. “The infrastructure in place in California, following our four core tenets of readiness, response, research and reaching out, is truly not matched anywhere in the world. But our mission is to provide the best care possible to oiled wildlife, and with each spill, we learn how to make the ‘best care possible’ better.”

Ziccardi directed the care of birds of 31 species that were injured when more than 53,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled from the container ship Cosco Busan into San Francisco Bay on Nov. 7, 2007. Of 1,068 oiled birds collected alive, 418 birds (38.5 percent) were saved and later released back to the wild.

While lower than the typical 50 to 75 percent release rate that the network averages for California spills, Ziccardi said he considers this a success because “the spill occurred in the winter months (when birds are in poor condition), affected very stress-sensitive species, and affected a lot of birds — each of which makes it very difficult to repair the damage the oil causes.”

The injured birds were treated at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Fairfield, a 12,000-square-foot, $2.7 million facility capable of caring for up to 1,000 sick birds. It is the major Northern California rescue center in the statewide Oiled Wildlife Care Network, which is made up of 12 facilities and 25 local organizations that stand ready to care for oiled wildlife on short notice.

Read the full OWCN report online

Note: IBRRC is a leading member of OWCN and co-manages two of its main oiled wildlife response centers in California: Fairfield and San Pedro. More info