In dedicating a second week to the disaster in the Gulf, we were honored to work with the organization, Defenders of Wildlife on these videos. They have been working on the ground throughout the cleanup and, as such, we thought it fitting that we interview them for our blogs. Below, please find our Interview with Defenders of Wildlife on the Gulf Oil Spill.
1. Can you give us an update as to the status of wildlife in the Gulf since the spill?
· The Gulf oil disaster has had a staggering impact on the region's wildlife. Rescue teams have collected thousands of birds, hundreds of sea turtles and dozens of marine mammals affected by oil, most of which have been found dead. However, those rescue teams are working around the clock to clean and rehabilitate as many critters as they can, scrubbing oil from coated animals, releasing them back into the wild and relocating sea turtle nests so that hatchlings may have an increased chance of survival. For updates on numbers of oiled wildlife, visit www.defendersblog.org.
2. Can you give us some information on what Defenders is doing to help?
· Defenders staff and volunteers have been on the ground, in the air and on the water in the Gulf gaining firsthand knowledge of this tragedy while lending our resources and expertise to the recovery efforts. Our chief scientist, Chris Haney, is coordinating seabird studies to establish a baseline of the condition of several species and document the damage to wildlife from the disaster. And our executive vice president, former Fish and Wildlife Service director Jamie Rappaport Clark, has been to the Gulf twice now to witness and document the damage to wildlife and habitat and consult with Interior Department officials.
· Defenders is working to secure a moratorium on further offshore drilling as well as promoting comprehensive climate change and energy legislation so that we may expedite the shift to clean, responsible renewable energy.
3. How does this spill compare to the Exxon Valdez?
· When the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in 1989, it spilled hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil into Alaskans waters (approx. 257,000 barrels). But when the ship emptied, the spill was done. The Deepwater Horizon well continuously spewed vast amounts of oil into the Gulf for more than three months, quickly surpassing Exxon Valdez to become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Although the numbers of birds collected thus far in the Gulf has not reached the massive amounts of those impacted in Alaska, the disaster is not yet over and we have yet to see how devastating the long-term impacts to wildlife will be.
To find out more about the Gulf Oil Spill and how you can help, please visit - Defenders of Wildlife