Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘fire’

April 28, 2010

Coast Guard to set fire to gulf oil spill

As oil drifts toward land, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that it will set fire to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The “controlled burn” would involve setting fire to an area of oil trapped by special containment booms on the ocean’s surface.

About 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons) of crude are leaking every day after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank last week. At least 11 of the rig’s workers are still missing and presumed dead 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Officials estimate the oil slick has a circumference of about 600 miles (about 970 kilometers), though the shape of the spill area is very irregular. The spill is big enough to be seen from space.

IBRRC is still on alert for the spill and is ready to lend a hand.

The bird rescue group has nearly 40 years of experience in working on oil spills. In 1989 a response crew spent 6 months in Alaska working on bird collection and care in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound. That spill dumped 11 million gallons of oil into the fragile waters and killed hundred of thousands of birds and mammals.

Also see:

Looming Disaster? Gulf Oil Spill FAQ: Live Science

(U.S. Coast Guard photo of Deepwater Horizon drilling platform before it sank)

October 29, 2008

Rising from the ashes to ferment change

Sometimes sad stories do have happy endings. Take the unusual genesis of the Burning Hawk wine in Sonoma County.

In May 2008, a hawk landed on a powerline, it was electrocuted and then caught fire. After falling to its death, it started a grass fire on the edge of the Windsor Vineyards.

The tragedy turned to understanding as a local vintner, Nick Papadopoulos, Director of Resolution Wines, decided he wanted to put his wine making skills to good use. This summer, Burning Hawk Wines hit the market with two $30-a-bottle wines and an ambitious effort to prevent similar bird deaths.

As Nick says:
“…this innocent hawk’s story opened our eyes to the impact our energy system has on birds and wildlife. Because of the vineyard connection a clear vision emerged – to create the Burning Hawk philanthropic wine brand dedicated to saving other birds from the same peril. We were encouraged to make this vision take flight by dozens of birders, business executives, conservation organizations, vintners, friends and family…”

Now 10% of total sales of Burning Hawk wine will be contributed to organizations working to prevent raptors and other birds from being killed through electrocution or collision with power lines, windmills and other elements of the energy system.

To learn more about the dangerous collision of birds and powerlines, see the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC)