OWCN Director Deployed to Louisana

The OWCN’s director Mike Ziccardi flies to Louisiana tonight. Below is Sacramento Bee article highlighting his trip.

UC Davis expert to help wildlife rescue in face of Gulf oil spill

By Carlos Alcala

Michael Ziccardi, a UC Davis professor, is heading to Louisiana today to help oversee wildlife rescue efforts in light of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ziccardi is director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, based at UC Davis. The network — made up of agencies around the state — has responded to dozens of spills since it was created in the 1990s in response to the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

The Gulf spill was initially considered not overly hazardous to most wildlife because it was many miles off the coast, away from most migratory aquatic bird and coastal marine mammal populations.

However, the spill is expected to reach fragile wildlife areas on the coast later this week, and Ziccardi will help identify most risky areas, how to protect them and coordinate response to any incidents involving animals caught in the slick.

The spill was caused by an explosion and sinking of the oil rig last week. The spill continues to leak more than 40,000 gallons of oil per day. Responders were planning to isolate and burn portions of the slick today.

-Kaiti

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