SPECIAL TO THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BIRD RESCUE RESEARCH CENTER
“There is an event occurring in the Pacific Northwest, a harmful algal bloom, that has produced a foamy, slimy proteinaceous substance that is coating seabirds feathers and degrading their waterproofing, such that they become wet and cold. This results in hypothermia for the bird, and ultimately, death if we do not capture them and wash this substance off their feathers.
150 birds were trucked in from Astoria, Oregon on October 24th and the Coast Guard helped us out by flying another 330 to us on the 26th. We are responding as if in an oil spill, because every single bird must go through the wash process with DAWN soap and we have just shy of 500 of them to do. Its a all hands on deck response to save their lives!! In an oil spill, whoever is responsible for creating the spill must foot the bill. Because this is a naturally occurring event, we are left to utilize every resource for funding and other support. According to Washington marine biologists, this is an unprecedented event in that area.
Thanks so much!”
Your help needed to save seabirds caught in deadly algae bloom!
From the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)
Mission to Save Migratory Birds Lands in Fairfield
From ABC News Channel 10 in Sacramento
Sick Oregon & Wash. sea birds airlifted to Calif.
From KGW Channel 8 in Portland
Deadly foam kills seabirds, puzzles scientists
From the AP in the Seattle P-I
“A quick update on the status of the foam from Pete Strutton at Oregon State University:
The foam is still strong along the Washington Coast with smaller amounts off the coast of Oregon. The winds changed direction today and are now blowing from the North which will move it offshore. They have been looking at ocean temperatures for the past 10 years and although last week was anomanously warmer, this week was actually colder so the data is inconclusive.
The Fall transition in the ocean upwelling brought offshore waters onshore which is what kicked off this event. The Columbia River may have played a role in delivering additional nutrients into the coastal zone. This could be agricultural run-off but it is natural for the nutrient content of the river to change throughout the year.”
Pete will continue to track the movement of the foam and will keep us posted.
Laurie Pyne | IBRRC
International Bird Rescue Research Center
4369 Cordelia Road | Fairfield, CA | 94534