Defenders of Wildlife got a peek inside a command center for the cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Rooms full of FWS, Coast Guard and other staff at computers and phones tracking the data on the spill, printing out real-time maps, and directing others on the ground where to go to deploy booms, skimmers and conduct wildlife rescues. Rowan told us that helicopters fly a grid every day to gather data on the oil and wildlife. They report back to this central command center, which then deploys boats out to where wildlife is being impacted the most. Over fifty boats are staffed with rescue personnel and are out on the water every day, throughout the day, to capture oiled animals and bring them in for rehab. Just yesterday, they had captured 170 birds, five of them dead. He said it is really hard to get the oil off the birds, it’s just like Jello. This oil is way different than the oil in Valdez, AK. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen.
Staffers got a very comprehensive tour of the cleanup efforts, and there’s a great post that gives a lot of information I hadn’t heard before. Go check it out.