How to help Vancouver wildlife affected by English Bay oil spill

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      Wildlife has already experienced the adverse affects of the oil spill that started in English Bay on April 8.

      According the BC SPCA, even one drop of oil can kill a bird. They explain on their website that oil damages the waterproof layer of a bird's feathers, thus compromising their insulation. The birds can die of hypothermia, lose flight or buoyancy, or ingest or inhale toxic compounds through preening or inhalation.

      The BC SPCA warns that you should never attempt to wash a wild animal affected by oil or pollution on your own. Due to the painstaking, stressful, and slow rehabilitation process, you should contact a professional wildlife rehabilitator.

      This pair of ducks was foraging in waters at Second Beach affected by the fuel spill in English Bay.
      Craig Takeuchi

      If you happen to see wildlife in distress, you should not attempt to capture it yourself.

      Instead, the City of Vancouver asks people to call 604-873-7000 with the location, species (if known), condition, and behaviour of the animal.

      However, if you do want to contribute to efforts to helping save wildlife affected by oil spills, there are a number of organizations that you can contact.

      The Oiled Wildlife Society of B.C. (along with Focus Wildlife) is involved in the response to the English Bay fuel spill.

      You can apply for Oiled Wildlife Society membership. First Responders training courses are also offered.

      If you want to provide financial assistance, you can also help to sponsor them in acquiring equipment and resources that will help save wildlife.

      Another organization you can contact about helping is the BC SPCA; contact wildlife services manager Sara Dubois.

      If you're more interested in helping with the general cleanup of the oil spill, you can sign up with the City of Vancouver for volunteer opportunities if help is needed.




      Apr 10, 2015 at 6:04pm

      Thank you Craig. This oil spill breaks my heart and it's good to know I can actually respond to it in a meaningful way.


      Apr 11, 2015 at 1:10pm

      Well it's just pathetic the wildlife victims of oil spills have to depend on volunteer groups and our donations. Why is that? And why is nobody questioning this??

      Thomas Heys

      Apr 12, 2015 at 12:41pm

      I think that the response to the Vancouver oil spill would have been MUCH faster if the Coast guard station in False Creek was still open. They had oil containment apparatus on hand. It could have been deployed within an hour after being reported. This would have minimized the dispersal.
      The government representative I heard on the radio was BRAGGING about the fact that 80% of the spill was contained 36!!! hours after the spill. Sorry, this ain't good enough. What about the other 20%
      Was that reserved for the waterfowl and sea creatures.
      I think that a city and country, that wants to export more oil out of our port should have thought about this more.
      I believe that the world must change energy reliance away from fossil fuels, but this is something that can't happen overnight. I was on the fence as to upgrading our ports to handle exports of more fossil fuels, but because of our government's keystone cops way of handling this relatively minor spill, from a grain carrier, no less. I have fallen way more to to the no pipeline side.
      Listening to the sailor who first reported the spill. Who stuck around to see how long the response would be (God bless him.) should be commended.
      Because of the primeministers choice to close down the false creek coast guard station, rather than expand their oil spill response ability, was stupid. I think that the first oil covered dead seabird should be put on ice and sent to "Stevo". Maybe with some crow recipes.