Friday, November 07, 2008

A Year Ago


I was busy with other things, so I did not note the one-year "anniversary" of the cargo ship Cosco Busan ramming into the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge and spilling tens of thousands of gallons of bunker fuel into the bay.

If you are interested in reading (or re-reading) what I wrote at the time, click here, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, and read the postings from the bottom to the top. When you finish with that, click the link on the right-side margin that says "oil spill" and finish reading from the bottom to the top.

Here are a few links to articles:

International Bird Rescue Research Center
Oiled Wildlife Care Network
The San Francisco Chronicle

Overall, 1,858 birds were found dead in the field. 1,084 were brought in for care at the center where I volunteered. 653 died or were euthanized. And 421 were set free, to live their lives in the wild. The numbers seem a bit grim, but two things are worth noting. First, the oil spill happened just at the moment that the birds had arrived in the Bay Area after their fall migration, so many of these birds may have been under-weight and stressed from their journeys. Because of this, their overall heath may have been compromised even before the spill. Secondly, four hundred and twenty lives saved is still four hundred and twenty lives saved.

We must celebrate every success, no matter how small.


Anonymous said...

I hope hope hope you will take some pictures of some beautiful birds while in France!


MommaWriter said...

You should definitely feel good about that work. After all, those birds you saved might not have made it at all if it weren't for your help. Not a nice alternative to think about. Besides, it's a lot of fun to nurse birds back to health and then set them free. (I used to raise orphaned mallards and release them in the Bay).

I *know* you'll take some fantastic bird photos in France. It's so much fun to see how different our feathered friends are in other countries!


Syndee said...

I can't believe it's been a year since the oil spill. I remember showing the pictures to my class and it hit a nerve with them about how ecologically unfriendly we are as a school! They were moved to start thinking about the fact that our school does not recycle and the implications that has on our small community and the world. My current students are planning on taking action by writing to our local county, town and village officials to find out who exactly is in charge of setting us up with the proper receptacles and dumpsters so we can become more green. They were even talking about having fundraisers so that we could purchase extra garbage cans, if needed. Ya gotta love that 7-11 year old range of kids!

km said...

This just makes me ache. And when I hear things like "drill, baby drill!" I wonder what the hell is wrong with this country that we are so casual with our natural resources?

But thank you, Lisa, for keeping me in touch with things I know nothing about. Like birds, which I love, but am not on a first-name basis with.


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