IBRRC: A year after Cosco Busan spill response

Making strides towards better response

The size and magnitude of the Cosco Busan gave us the opportunity to learn where we need to improve. We have spent the year making strides to ensure a better response in the event of another major incident. We’d like to share these with everyone.

IBRRC is taking the initiative to improve its ability to have enough trained and experienced people to rescue and rehabilitate oiled animals. Through a generous grant recently awarded by the “The San Francisco Foundation Cosco Busan Oil Spill Fund”, IBRRC will be able to recruit and train 10 additional search and collection personnel and 20 new in-house oiled bird rehabilitation volunteers.

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT: IBRRC’s specially designed warm water pool systems are being upgraded to house an added number of birds requiring this supportive care. Through an anonymous grant and support from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), IBRRC added a new 100-foot long pelican flight aviary to the bird facility in Fairfield. This aviary is able to house up to 100 of the endangered birds. Designs for a new complex of additional aviaries are in the final stages.

ADVANCES IN CARE: After 37 years, IBRRC continues to lead the world with advancements in oiled wildlife capture and rehabilitation. Its net-bottom caging for sea birds was conceived during the 1984 Puerto Rican Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay by IBRRC Director, Jay Holcomb. This year, in collaboration with the OWCN, these pens were modified to incorporate “soft sides”, further reducing potential injury to captive birds.

Additional advancements have been made through their partnership with the OWCN including IBRRC’s keel cushions, protective foot ‘booties’, and aquatic bird diets. IBRRC manages two of the major oiled wildlife care and education facilities built under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand legislation and is a principle participant in the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. Additionally, in partnership with the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW), IBRRC has responded to worldwide oil spills. It is in these oil spill events that IBRRC’s protocols and rehabilitation methods are tested and utilized.