Oiled wildlife care network development for integrated emergency response

Jonna A Mazet, Florina Tseng, Jay Holcomb, Dave Jessup

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In response to the potential risk to California from oil spill events, the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act was passed in 1990 requiring the Administrator of the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response to establish rescue and rehabilitation stations for sea birds, sea otters, and other marine mammals. This legislative mandate for addressing the problems of oiled wildlife care was reaffirmed by three subsequent amendments to the original law. The California Oiled Wildlife Care Newark strives to ensure that wildlife exposed to petroleum products in the environment receive the best achievable treatment by providing access to trained personnel and permanent wildlife rehabilitation facilities which are maintained in a constant state of readiness for oil spill response. This system includes a coordinated effort by federal, state, and local governments; the party responsible for the spill of the oil; and pre-identified non-governmental organizations, such as International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC), specializing in all aspects of oil spill response. In the California system, we have involved representatives from governmental wildlife trustee agencies; universities and research organizations; oil production, transportation, and shipping industries; and wildlife rehabilitation organizations in the organizational structure of the network to ensure an integrated, coordinated, and successful emergency response. Organizations such as IBRRC provide expertise in the rehabilitation of oiled wildlife and the personnel to successfully conduct a spill response. In addition to the development of an organizational structure, crucial to the preparation for an integrated response effort is the pre-identification of wildlife resources at risk. Data on sensitive species can be combined with information on shipping traffic to indicate areas at highest risk of severe wildlife impacts from oil spills in order to target areas requiring the availability of trained volunteers and wildlife rehabilitation facilities. A well-planned response system capitalizes also on existing expertise by developing relationships with wildlife care and response organizations prior to an oil spill event. Key to this effective response system is an annual training program for these partner organizations, incorporating hazardous materials safety information, description of current techniques in oiled wildlife care, and the captive management problems associated with the species at risk of oil exposure. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network must maintain the flow of information within the oil spill response community to ensure that new techniques and technologies are being incorporated into treatment protocols to provide the best achievable treatment for oil-affected wildlife.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005 - Miami Beach, FL, United States
Duration: May 15 2005May 19 2005


Other2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami Beach, FL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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