Southern California environment news and trends

California coast coughs up oil covered birds

Mercer 9133

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara coast.

According to a new AP report, more than 100 birds covered in oil from the ocean floor have been recovered along the California coastline over the past two months.

“We have never seen this many oil seep Murres at once,” said Jay Holcomb, the director emeritus of the International Bird Rescue center in Los Angeles. Murres are “pursuit diving” birds common to the central California coast. Due to a lack of budget for rounding up birds affected by natural seep, those numbers are gleaned solely from birds brought in by people along Santa Barbara beaches. “Some years we receive even more natural oil seep birds than we do birds from a human-caused oil spill with a responsible party to cover the cost of their care – and, unfortunately, these birds don’t come to us with health insurance.”

If you have an “oiled wildlife sighting,” the IBR asks that you please call (877) UCD-OWCN.

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