Well, last night I got out of the Houma Command Center fairly early (in the single digits), headed back to the hotel fired up to impart the happenings of a particularly harried day and, lo and behold, the WiFi was out in my hotel room and the broadband card had no bars. I did have a last resort in that I could have blogged on my phone but, as I am over 40, my texting ability is about 25% of what a typical teenager can produce (not to mention the multiple typos and the embarrassment of hunt-and-pecking on a touchscreen). So, no blog for Day 19.
Of course, as luck would have it, Day 20 finds me in my hotel room at 10:41 just finishing my edits to the daily report that goes up the chain, with yet another blank canvas in front of me with no inclination on how to fill it, and, as our friend Todd of the LA Dept of Wildlife & Fisheries would say, just plumb tuckered out.
So, highlights of the day include:
- Welcoming Trevor Spradlin of NOAA (DC) to the OMTU (who replaced Jackie, that whirlwind of efficiency) and Bob Hoffman to Mobile ICC (replacing Liz, another poster-child for hard work). Thx to both of you!
- With Trevor, Sarah Wilkin (NOAA-CA and as solid a person as you will find) and myself in Houma, continuing to work through planning issues for the Gulf, including gearing up the St. Petersburg ICC and quite possibly expanding to the Keys if reports of tarballs in the area prove true.
- Coordinating the overall effort with Barbara and Teri (who returned to DC), who are attempting to make sure decision-makers and the public have the best information possible on the findings and implications of mammal and turtle recoveries during this response.
- Finalizing our plans for manatee capture, response and holding, including identifying partner institutions and staff to help, locations to possibly house large numbers, and the equipment necessary to mount such an effort.
- Conducting on-water capture operations for sea turtles in offshore areas, including regions of sargassum and potential high densities of younger animals.
- Between Sarah, Trevor and me, connecting with all four facilities & all six mammal/turtle regional coordinators to relay calls and ensure they have what they need to do the job we are asking them to do.
- Countless other conference calls, email flurries, meetings w/ the different folks in Envt Unit and the Wildlife Branch, caffeine runs, and far more things that I cannot recall at this point.
So, I will sign off for now. As a preview, though, big news tomorrow, as well as the next evening. Can’t let the cat out of the bag at this point, so you will just have to come back to our blog. Speak with you then.