If you’re reading this then you’re aware of the growing oil spill emanating from the well 5,000 feet below where the “Deepwater Horizon” offshore drilling rig used to sit. After exploding on April 20th and subsequently sinking on the 22nd, the well known as MC252 continues to gush hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude per day into the complex and unique Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. The growing oil slick has made landfall at the Mississippi River Delta and will inevitably make contact with a large percentage of the Gulf Coast and will continue to circulate throughout the ocean currents of the region. As a wildlife and conservation biologist, habitat destruction and harm to animal populations on any scale is something akin to my family being in danger, so a catastrophe of these proportions requires immediate personal action.
In the wake of the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay I worked at the International Bird Rescue and Research Center cleaning and caring for oiled birds, often alongside Dr. Mike Ziccardy, the director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. He is currently near Venice, Louisiana working with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research and other organizations to mobilize the wildlife care effort. I’ve contacted the Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research as well as other volunteer organizations and have been placed on the list of qualified wildlife “paraprofessionals” as we’re being know. While the rescue effort ramps up in the coming days, the folks at Tri-State will be calling on volunteers from that list. When they call, I would like to be ready to hop on a plane and be there within a day. Once I arrive on the Gulf Coast I will likely be working with bird rescue and rehabilitation and I aim to lend my services for two to three weeks but that may change due to the uncertain nature of this disaster. I plan on finding a safe and dry place to stay via the volunteer network, couchsurfing.org, or through suggestions that any of you might have. Camping was my first though but the weather this time of year is riddled with thunder and lightning storms down there.
I have the technical know-how, time, and energy to be an asset in this effort to help recover the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem from this disaster but I lack the funds to get there on my own. I’m asking you to contribute anything that you can to my effort. Deploying my specialized skills to the Gulf Coast wildlife care response is an undertaking that I feel is mandatory for a person in my position. Any amount you can spare would be a great help. You’ll see instructions on how to donate and an estimated budget at the bottom of this page and at the “Donations” link. If you’re so inclined to contribute to this effort, this is a way to cut out the middleman and know exactly where your donation is going.
I’m planning on reporting to this blog on a regular basis with photos, video, and commentary on the wildlife situation. There are plenty of people focused on the politics and blame game circulating throughout the media so I’ll avoid that as much as possible. If you want to receive e-mail updates on my newest blog posts click the “Sign me up!” button under the “Email Updates” heading on the right side of the page. You will also be able to monitor the funding progress by clicking the “Donations” link at the top of the screen. Any donations that exceed the need of this project will be passed on to further recovery efforts once I’m finished volunteering. Please feel free to leave feedback and forward this information along to whomever you think might be interested.
wildlife & conservation biologist
Ways to Contribute:
1. Paypal; just click the “donate” button, fill in the amount you would like to donate, log into your account (or create one if you want) and you’re done.
2. Send a check made out to me to 372 60th St., Oakland, CA 94818.
3. Bank transfer; if this is your preferred donation method just let me know and I’ll give you my account information.
Car rental $200
Lightweight Breathable Rain Jacket $100
Protective Footwear $120
Food and Miscellaneous Supplies $600