Drilling Down in SF

Nancy and I spent the last two days in San Francisco, participating in a BP-sponsored drill with many of our OSPR, Coast Guard, US FIish & Wildlife, NOAA, and other agency colleagues. The scenario was not pretty!  It involved a tanker collision that resulted in a lot of crude oil heading straight towards Monterey Bay. Like I said, not pretty.

Because Monterey Bay is full of wildlife, including threatened southern sea otters, a spill there would be potentially devastating for the environment. Everyone recognized that, and the result was a high energy drill with a lot of realistic (and scary!) injects. It was great working with everyone and at the end of the drill, Incident Command announced that no oil reached the shore.  Let’s hope we can achieve that if we’re ever faced with such a scenario.

We definitely came upon some learning issues that we’ll need to address in the future, and of course that is the whole purpose of a drill. The BP group did a good job of designing the drill, and they even had a sense of humor about their history and the Gulf spill of 2010! Below are some photos of a few of our partners “playing.”

Here's OSPR sea otter biologist (and diver extraordinaire!) Colleen Young, working hard at the drill.

Here’s OSPR sea otter biologist (and diver extraordinaire!) Colleen Young, working hard at the drill.

Here are Holly Gellerman, OSPR's Wildlife Branch Director, and Jordan Stout from NOAA having some fun at the drill.

Here are Holly Gellerman, OSPR’s Wildlife Branch Director, and Jordan Stout from NOAA having some fun at the drill.

The Wildlife Health Center's veterinary extern Mary, visiting from the University of Wisconsin, getting a taste of oil spill response while hanging out at the Wildlife Branch.

The Wildlife Health Center’s veterinary extern Mary, visiting from the University of Wisconsin, getting a taste of oil spill response while hanging out at the Wildlife Branch.

Cindy

OSPR’s volunteer coordinator Cindy Murphy answering some tough (but fake!) questions at the press conference.

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