The International Bird Rescue Research Center wants to train YOU in oil spill response  »

Remember in 2007 when the Cosco Busan shipping barge spilled 53,500 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay, killing and maiming tens of thousands of birds, seals, and other wildlife in the process? That was so much fun. The worst part of it may have been all the volunteers who went down to beaches to help with bird rescue and clean up, but were turned away and told that their help wasn’t wanted at the beginning of the spill, when most of the damage happens. Truly fantastic. Well this is your chance to get trained up and ready to be part of the official response to the next oil spill (and there will be a next time, DEPRESSING but guaranteed) as part of a statewide effort to not suck next time this happens.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center is now accepting applications to join their Oil Spill Response Team. You must submit your application by Mar. 26, and the training orientation will take place on April 10 at their bird center in Fairfield.

I went out there after the Cosco Busan spill and managed to get in a brief training, which amounted to watching a video explaining all the ways exposure to oil can make you sick. And that’s really all they can do when volunteers try and get trained during a disaster instead of before. In the end, I was qualified to refill pans of water while more capable hands scrubbed very confused looking ducks with toothbrushes and dishwashing soap. This is going to be much more intensive, with field trips, three training sessions, and 160 volunteer hours before you can graduate. You will come out of it as a bird-rescuing GOD.

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