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  • Kathleen
    Jul 1, 2010
      FYI. DEP just sent this out this afternoon. Here's a link to the PDF.
      Text version is below.


      For immediate release: JULY 1, 2010

      Contact: PUBLIC INFORMATION ESF14 ¨C 850-921-0217


      ~New response plan ensures quick recovery of oiled birds~

      TALLAHASSEE ¨C The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
      (FWC) together with federal partners today announced the creation of an
      oiled bird recovery plan for rapid response to distressed birds. The
      recovery plan was created and approved by the Incident Command Sector
      Mobile, with assistance from impacted states, to ensure oiled birds are
      recovered within 60 minutes of their initial report. Under the plan, a
      Florida Panhandle Group will be established in Panama City to coordinate
      the rapid recovery and rescue of injured wildlife on Florida¡¯s

      ¡°It is critical that trained personnel respond rapidly to reports of
      wildlife in distress due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,¡± said
      FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. ¡°We are hopeful that this new
      plan created in coordination with our federal partners will better
      protect Florida¡¯s precious wildlife.¡±

      The Florida Panhandle Group will consist of three task forces, covering
      two to three counties each throughout Northwest Florida. The Group is
      made up of 150 field personnel including biologists, wildlife
      rehabilitators and Vessels of Opportunity captains. When an oiled bird
      is reported to the Oiled Wildlife Hotline, the corresponding task force
      in that region will be notified and the nearest trained wildlife experts
      will quickly respond.

      FWC, in coordination with the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC),
      would also like to remind Floridians and visitors to report any
      sightings of wildlife oiled or injured as a result of Deepwater Horizon
      oil spill by calling the Oiled Wildlife Hotline number at
      1©\866©\557©\1401. The hotline operator will contact the
      nearest response team and dispatch it to attempt to rescue the animal.

      People naturally want to help injured animals. However, untrained
      rescuers may cause more harm than good. The public should not touch,
      approach or try to rescue the animal. Handling oiled wildlife may pose a
      serious health and safety risk to both would-be rescuers and the animal
      they are trying to rescue. The chemicals in oil are toxic and only
      trained personnel with appropriate protective gear and equipment should
      handle and treat oiled animals.

      Such rescues require hazardous-material training, permits and
      animal-handling skills to ensure human safety and the best interests of
      the animal. The Oiled Wildlife Hotline number is staffed 24 hours a day,
      7 days a week. For more information, please visit
      <http://myfwc.com/OilSpill/OilSpill_FAQs.htm> or

      For the latest information regarding Florida¡¯s response to the
      Deepwater Horizon oil spill, visit www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com
      <http://www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com/> or follow
      www.Twitter.com/FLDEPalert <http://www.twitter.com/FLDEPalert> .


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