Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘award’

March 5, 2011

Gulf Spill: Working Together for Wildlife Award

Emergency response teams from International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) and three other wildlife organizations have received national recognition for collaborative care of oiled animals during the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.

The Marlys J. Bulander Working Together for Wildlife Award was presented to IBRRC, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. The announcement was made at the annual National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) meeting in Albany, New York.

This award is given to those who have brought together individuals, organizations, rehabilitation facilities, and agencies in a cooperative effort to make a positive difference for wildlife.

The four organizations joined forces to care for the thousands of birds and other animals affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 off the coast of Louisiana. Together they built, organized and ran four oiled bird rehabilitation centers – the first in Ft. Jackson, Louisiana and second in Hammond, LA. The others were set up in Alabama and Mississippi. They also helped manage oiled wildlife stabilization sites at Grand Isle, Venice, and Intra-Coastal City, LA.

IBRRC had about 90 members of its response team helping in four states in the Gulf of Mexico region. This collaborative effort has led to the release of 1,170 birds to date.

NWRA judges praised the speed and purpose with which the teams responded to the largest oil spill in United States history, as more than 200 million gallons of crude spilled from a ruptured drilling rig 45 miles off the Louisiana coast.

IBRRC is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and is a world leader in oiled wildlife emergency response, rehabilitation, research and education. Its team of specialists has led rescue efforts in over 200 oil spills in 11 States, two U.S. territories, and 7 different countries.

IBRRC is equally proud of the care it provides to the more than 5,000 injured, hungry, or orphaned birds that come into its two California wildlife care centers each year. It is committed to ensuring that every bird impacted by changes to their environment is given hope to survive and thrive.

November 2, 2010

IBRRC’s Holcomb earns John Muir award

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We’re very pleased to announce that IBRRC’s Executive Director, Jay Holcomb, has been named the 2010 John Muir Association’s Conservationist of the Year.

The 33rd Annual John Muir Conservation Awards chooses “individuals who have excelled in environmental protection, or made significant contributions to the advancement of conservation.”

Jay is being recognized for his 25 years of passionate leadership at International Bird Rescue Research Center and most recently in leading IBRRC’S 80-person bird rescue response team at the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

This is the second award this year for Jay who was also named Oceana’s 2010 Ocean Hero in June for his commitment to ocean conservation.

With 40 years of wildlife rehabilitation work, Jay is honored to accept this prestigious award. “It is a real honor to receive this award and, even in the remotest way, be associated with the great John Muir,” said Jay. “At International Bird Rescue we believe that every bird matters. Our focus for nearly 40 years has been on making a difference to the lives of individual animals and it is quite wonderful to see this approach being acknowledged through a prestigious conservation award such as this.”

A dinner and award ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street (at Estudillo) in Martinez, California 94553. Details

The mission of the John Muir Association is to celebrate the life, share the vision, and preserve the legacy of John Muir through education, preservation, advocacy and stewardship, in partnership with the National Park Service at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California.

John Muir (1838-1914) was America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. He also has been called “The Father of our National Parks,” “Wilderness Prophet,” and “Citizen of the Universe.” Muir spent the last years of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Park Service purchased his home in 1964 to preserve his legacy for future generations.

Again congratulations to Jay for his tireless leadership and dedication to furthering IBRRC’s mission – saving the lives of birds threatened by oil spills, environmental changes and human interaction through rescue and education.

– The IBRRC Team

June 8, 2010

IBRRC’s Jay Holcomb Earns Ocean Hero Award

IBRRC executive director Jay Holcomb was named Oceana’s Ocean Hero for 2010. Holcomb is currently leading IBRRC’s bird rescue effort in the Gulf, working alongside Tri-State Bird Rescue to care for wildlife caught in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Ocean Heroes contest was created in 2009 to recognize individuals making a difference for the ocean, with winners announced on World Oceans Day. This year, Oceana also named a group of Junior Ocean Heroes, honoring The Shark Finatics from Green Chimney High School in New York.

“We are proud to honor these everyday people who are making a difference for the ocean,” says Oceana’s CEO Andrew Sharpless. “In light of the disaster in the Gulf and the state of the oceans worldwide, we need people like the Holcomb and the Finatics to continue their work and inspire others to get involved.”

Oceana’s 2010 Ocean Heroes contest was launched in March, when the general public was invited to submit nominations. Finalists were selected by a panel of experts from Oceana, and the public was invited to vote online to select the winners.

Holcomb is a lifelong California resident who has been passionate about the ocean since his childhood along the coast. He began his career at the Marin Humane Society and then helped found the rehabilitation program at the Marin Wildlife Center. He joined IBRRC in 1986 with 20 years of animal rehabilitation experience, and has responded to over 200 oil spills around the world, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez and the 1979 Gulf spills.

“It is particularly poignant that I have won this award in the midst of the greatest oil spill in U.S. history,” said Holcomb. “My career stems from a passion that has burned in me since I was a child. I have always approached my work as trying to change the world one bird at a time. My hope is that this award reminds people that whatever we can do personally to protect our ocean does make a difference, no matter how overwhelming the task may seem at times.”

Given his busy schedule on the ground in the Gulf, Holcomb has limited availability for interviews.

Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Its teams of marine scientists, economist, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. More at oceana.org

June 27, 2008

Court knocks down Exxon oil spill damages

After nearly 20 years of legal wrangling, the Exxon Valdez oil spill court case has finally come to a bitter end. On June 25, 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down punitive damages in a 5-3 ruling that could have far reaching affects for victims harmed during shipping oil spill accidents.

The court reduced the award to $500 million from $2.5 Billion that more than 32,000 fishermen and Alaska Natives had been waiting to collect on oil spill claims from the Exxon Mobil Corp. The plantiffs claimed that the spill caused incredible damage to fishing grounds and harmed their ability to make a living in the area. The 1989 spill caused 11 million gallons of crude oil to harm fishing grounds in the Prince William Sound area.

In late February 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in the case Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 07-219. Case timeline

A lower court originally awarded $5 Billion in damages to area fishermen who lost revenue after the spill. Another court cut that award in half to $2.5 Billion. The Supreme Court was expected to trim some of the damage award again as Justice Samuel Alito recused himself from the case. Alito owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Exxon stock and stepped aside on the case.

For background on the spill, go to Crude Awakening IBBRC’s story on the spill and its bird saving efforts.

Read more about the recent court descision from the story in the San Francisco Chronicle

Exxon not cutting any checks yet: Alaska Daily News

February 25, 2008

High court hears Exxon Valdez oil spill suit

Nearly 14 years after Exxon was ordered to pay $5 billion dollars because of the damages done to people and their livelyhood during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the nation’s top court is scheduled to hear the final appeal this week.

The U.S. Supreme Court will listen to arguments this coming Wednesday from the 1994 judgment that awarded residents and fishermen the huge award. The award has been reviewed three times by a district judge and twice by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco. In December 2006, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its final ruling, setting the punitive damages award at $2.5 billion.

In the meantime, 20% of the more than 30,000 fishermen, Native Alaskans, cannery workers and others who triumphed in the Anchorage, Alaska court that day in 1994 are now dead.

Following the 1989 oil spill, more than 11 million gallons spilled. An estimated 300 bald eagles died and another 200,000 common murres perished. Scores of other whales, otters, salmon and invertebrates also died in the aftermath of the spill that hit Prince William Sound and the surrounding areas.

Members of IBRRC’s response team spent nearly six months in Alaska helping care for oiled birds in the spill. See IBRRC report

Read more on the MSNBC website

Also read, plantiff’s law firm discussion of the case