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Movin' on with Nellie: Just plug the sticky black oil gusher ALREADY!

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 16th, 2010

Audubon members numbering 22,000 volunteer to assist with wild bird clean up along the coast, says their website at http://www.audubon.org/campaign/advisory/advisory1006.html

But last night CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that the state of Louisiana and British Petroleum (BP) were keeping them out. Devastating looks at the brown pelican habitat on the same 360 news show revealed how workers had stomped through the nesting area of the endangered pelican and killed hatchlings, parent pelicans and crushed eggs.

For those very reasons, we need to have trained volunteers from the Audubon deployed there as well.

Thankfully the Audubon has deployed their 22,000 volunteers elsewhere along the Gulf. On their website, I learned that volunteers are screened for special skills and they “identify and mark fragile coastal areas to protect habitats and nesting areas from damage as clean-up operations.”

Tuesday night President Barak Obama said that this was an attack on America. The New York Times reported: “[President Obama] said progress had been blocked time and time again by ‘oil industry lobbyists,’ and he suggested that achieving energy independence was an issue of national security, saying the time has come for the United States to ‘seize control of our own destiny’.”

I agree. This yet to be plugged oil eruption spilling more than 60,000 barrels of oil a day is an attack on our environment, way of life and natural resources. I agree that we need to move alternative energy resources to the forefront of our American and collective minds. We need to make solar, wind, natural gas, and other alternative energies second nature - maybe even FIRST NATURE. We need to plug this faucet and quickly!

Nevertheless, I’m thankful for the Audubon volunteers who are stepping up as first responders for natural resources like the endangered brown pelican, and other marine birds. Shrimpers in the Gulf are impacted and cannot run their trawls now. The Gulf’s fishing industry has been hit hard; imagine sitting down to oyster a la oil! This slow and dishonorable response by BP could lead to the death and waste of the Gulf Coast.

Quite frankly, this operation is the most critical in our history as a nation. The Audubon still needs volunteers. The volunteers staff the coordinating center and help to schedule pick-ups and other responses. Some volunteers survey the coast for all species of birds and document by photographing and videotaping the birds. Some volunteers transport oiled birds to the cleanup facilities.

Still other volunteers work in the capture of oiled and wounded birds by making nets, and cages to help trained rescuers. There’s even a Citizen Science Monitoring group of volunteers that collect digital images or videos of nesting areas, habitat and other sightings of birds-these photographic images then in turn help the scientists to analyze how the oil catastrophe is impacting the birds’ habitats.

Another set of Audubon volunteers staff bird hotlines by responding to questions of handling, sightings and species identification.

The Audubon has invited you to be part of their next web cast: “If you want to hear the latest on Audubon’s response to the oil spill, join [the] next webcast [at http://register.webcastgroup.com/l3/?wid=0650623105251 ] on June 23, 1:30 PM Eastern Time/10:30 AM Pacific Time.”

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