Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hands Across the Sand June 26th, 2010 by Deborah Dolen (RSS/API Dolen Images)

Hands Across the Sand June 26th, 2010 by Deborah Dolen (RSS/API Dolen Images) Click photos for full image!

Hands Across the Sand is a movement that started in Florida Saturday, February 13, 2010, and grew global exponentially within months. On the fateful February day thousands of Floridians representing 60 towns and cities and over 90 beaches joined hands to protest the efforts by the Florida Legislature and the US Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling in the near and off shores of Florida. Florida’s Hands Across The Sand event was the largest public gathering in the history of Florida.

Hand Across the Sand Mission is simple “To organize a national movement to oppose offshore oil drilling and champion clean energy and renewables.” Click here for the Hand Across the Sand main website. On June 26th, 2010 thousands of people on just about every beach across the globe got together around noon their respective times and held hands for five minutes (or so) to demonstrate their love and passion for our waters as well as stand up for the primary mission “stop the drilling.”

The Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had a huge impact on awareness of the health of our waters as well as escalated the membership and commitment of Hands Across the Sand members. If you live near a coastal area hands Across the Sand is a great way to meet people with mutual interests.

To date over one hundred million gallons of crude have entered the Gulf of Mexico. Another issue stemming from the BP Oil spill is the vast amount of Corexit being deliberately dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. BP Oil is doing this because it helps the “visual” aspect of less dead birds, but it submerses the oil and kills far more fish. The only good thing about the dispersant is BP Oil cannot get nearly as much of it as they would like to get! No amount of chemicals can match the millions of gallons of crude exiting the sea floor.

It is my opinion a good storm will pass through the BP Oil area and blow all of that oil out. In major storms the water turns out whatever is in it. So, anything BP Oil was trying to conceal will be very visual at the end of the day, or in this case by the end of the summer. All BP oil did was prolong the visual of the disaster for public relations purposes and are needlessly killing more fish to do so. Beyond the fact BP Oil should pay to have super tankers in our Gulf, and should have been asking for them since day one – the sun will naturally degrade some of the oil. Absent any involvement from humans, the sun can degrade the crude more naturally than anything BP Oil is trying to do. Dropping dispersants to “pretend the oil is not as much oil there” (as there really is) simply kills our fish and eventually that oil will come up anyway.

The Gulf of Mexico naturally seeps about 40 million gallons of oil a year. The differences are, it does not seep all in one place, at one time, or near a fragile coast line such as the Mississippi marsh lands. Nature does have a way of taking care of things and it is my hope the oil does turn out in a storm before the winter months arrive while the sun is still hot enough to help degrade the crude. If we have a winter like last year, with water temperatures dropping under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, we could have some semi solid gunk that will be worse to deal with, and much less help from the sun to degrade it.

Photo’s and videos I took are from Anna Maria Island June 26th, 2010.

Join Deborah Dolen on Myspace Deborah Dolen on FaceBook, Deborah Dolen on BlogSpot or Deborah Dolen on Twitter, Deborah Dolen on Flickr!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Birds of BP Gulf Oil Spill: Canola Oil Baths! by Deborah Dolen (RSS/API)

The Birds of BP Gulf Oil Spill: Canola Oil Baths! by Deborah Dolen (RSS/API)
Ever wondered how they clean birds dripping with oil? Once the traumatized bird has rested a day or two, Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research staffers are dipping the birds in canola oil first, which is an excellent gentle solvent to the harder crude oil. After that the birds are popped into a 104 degree bath which is their natural temperature. Tri state staffers say it can take 45 minutes and 300 gallons of water to wash oil off a pelican, and three people – one to hold the beak could be the obvious. Some rescue groups go ahead and put a salve in the bird’s eyes so they are not affected by the soap when cleaning.

Over at the International Bird Research Center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana, wildlife affected by the BP Gulf Coast oil spill have dear friend in Jay Holcomb Jay Holcomb was named Oceana's Ocean Hero for 2010. He responded to California oil spills during the 1970's and early 80's as a volunteer before joining the staff of IBRRC during the ARCO Anchorage Spill (1986). He has either led or been on staff for virtually all IBRRC spill responses since 1986 including the M/V Treasure oil spill in Cape Town, South Africa (2000) and handled the aviation operations during Exxon Valdez spill at Prince Edward Sound. His staff is highly trained and they work as a team. One of the most common questions poised at Jay is “Does the wildlife know they are being helped?” Jay says “No! They are wild animals and highly stressed by handling and captivity. Most likely they regard us as predators that are about to eat them. Although some species like penguins, pelicans and murres will act more friendly as they become accustomed to being fed fish by humans, they need what is termed "flight space". This is the space between them and humans that allow them to feel comfortable when in the presence of their care takers.” ~Jay Holcomb

Watch footage of Jay explaining how they clean the incoming birds at ground zero for the BP Gulf Oil Spill: in another news segment more bird cleaning procedures are discussed by Jay. Here Holcomb is giving a slew of interviews but each one is unique from the last and lessons learned are vast: Port Arthur Wildlife Rescue Worker’s also allowed footage of how they handle the incoming “patients.” Cleaning Crude off Birds:

In watching the video’s in Holcomb’s operation you not only see how the birds are cleaned, but the cute “hotel” they get to rest at after they are cleaned. A video shot of wildlife volunteer training in South Florida is also very educational. In the video below the teacher discusses the fact the incoming oil is “weathered” as in not extremely toxic, but yet still nasty stuff you do not want on you. One new technique in oil spill bird rescue is allowing the bird to rest a day or two before being washed as not to upset their hormone balance and rhythm. This has dramatically increased the survival rate in oil traumatized birds.

Mid June 2010 about 53 Pelicans are expected to arrive in Tampa Bay, via the Coast Guard for release. This will re-socialize the pelicans in an environment much like the habitat they are from.
Please Join Deborah on Twitter,, at MySpace or Facebook! Dolen Images
Read about Ringo a dog flown in from Katrina. Official Bio of his owner and short Bio. RSS Syndicated Feeds on the environment. How Twitter is best used. Deborah Dolen Books on Amazon. Review of her books on Open Library, Paperback Swap, Good Reads and ReviewScout. You can also read Google Profile. Deborah Dolen on MySpace Facebook, and Flickr. This is our favorite blogspot. See Deborah Dolen on YouTube and her last book written London Apothecary and book.