We asked Laird Henkel, staff environmental scientist from DFG-OSPR and the OWCN’s boss (as Wildlife Branch Director) during this spill event, to give his (unsolicited, unedited) thoughts and perspectives on how the Dubai Star spill was going. Here is what he had to share with us:
“When I got the call on Friday morning that there was an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, what a relief it was to know that that OWCN had been activated and was available to respond quickly. Nils (along with everyone else at OWCN) has been doing a great job this year of getting folks trained up for wildlife recovery & transportation, and this week they had a chance to put their training to the test. From my perspective, they passed with flying colors. By day two (Saturday), OWCN had five pre-trained 2-person teams on-site and ready to go, and teams continue to scour the shoreline for oiled wildlife. We were also fortunate to have the immediate assistance of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who provided personnel for initial reconnaissance on Friday, and helped with the oiled wildlife reporting hotline through the weekend. Now, on day 6, clean-up operations are starting to wrap up. Although there are still some oiled birds out there, soon there won’t be any oil from the spill left in the environment to continue to contaminate birds. Hopefully the number of oiled bird out there will continue to decline.”
Laird (as well as all the other OSPR staff) has/have been a tremendous help to the OWCN during this spill by making sure we had the resources and tools we need to do what we can to save the wildlife affected by this incident. Thank you!