IBRRC’s Jay Holcomb Earns Ocean Hero Award

IBRRC executive director Jay Holcomb was named Oceana’s Ocean Hero for 2010. Holcomb is currently leading IBRRC’s bird rescue effort in the Gulf, working alongside Tri-State Bird Rescue to care for wildlife caught in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Ocean Heroes contest was created in 2009 to recognize individuals making a difference for the ocean, with winners announced on World Oceans Day. This year, Oceana also named a group of Junior Ocean Heroes, honoring The Shark Finatics from Green Chimney High School in New York.

“We are proud to honor these everyday people who are making a difference for the ocean,” says Oceana’s CEO Andrew Sharpless. “In light of the disaster in the Gulf and the state of the oceans worldwide, we need people like the Holcomb and the Finatics to continue their work and inspire others to get involved.”

Oceana’s 2010 Ocean Heroes contest was launched in March, when the general public was invited to submit nominations. Finalists were selected by a panel of experts from Oceana, and the public was invited to vote online to select the winners.

Holcomb is a lifelong California resident who has been passionate about the ocean since his childhood along the coast. He began his career at the Marin Humane Society and then helped found the rehabilitation program at the Marin Wildlife Center. He joined IBRRC in 1986 with 20 years of animal rehabilitation experience, and has responded to over 200 oil spills around the world, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez and the 1979 Gulf spills.

“It is particularly poignant that I have won this award in the midst of the greatest oil spill in U.S. history,” said Holcomb. “My career stems from a passion that has burned in me since I was a child. I have always approached my work as trying to change the world one bird at a time. My hope is that this award reminds people that whatever we can do personally to protect our ocean does make a difference, no matter how overwhelming the task may seem at times.”

Given his busy schedule on the ground in the Gulf, Holcomb has limited availability for interviews.

Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Its teams of marine scientists, economist, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. More at oceana.org

13 thoughts on “IBRRC’s Jay Holcomb Earns Ocean Hero Award”

  1. It's great that you have been trying so hard to save the birds, and have actually been noticed. The oil spill is doing lots of damage to the birds and many other species. It's good to hear that somebody cares and is making an effort to protect wildlife.

  2. It's great to hear that someone is being noticed for their hard work. Protecting wildlife is a great way to help out right since the oil spill is huge and coulld take months or even years to fix up. Hopefully they can get it fixed as soon as possible. Congrats on the award, and don't stop making a difference in this world. Times are tough, but it's always worth it. Good things come to good people. Karma!

  3. Dear Jay Holcomb,

    I wish to congratulate you on receiving the "Ocean Hero Award." I am sure that all the birds just love you for all you do for them. And now I just have one request, would you hug a pelican for me? :>)

  4. Hey Jay,
    Congratulations! Thank you for all you do for the amazing world of birds and bird life…year round! Well deserved after a career of giving unselfishly of your time and energy…building a wonderful foundation for the art and science of oiled bird care. Every bird released is a tangible gift that few understand. Thanks for being the beach master!
    Cheers, tom & darren
    Sonoma, CA

  5. Congratulations, Jay Holcomb!
    You are the best and doing whit your team a loth of good work. The people here in the Netherlands whise you a lot of succes.
    Thanks, for the second change say all the bird you releashed.
    Many, many greetings
    Fûgelpitsteam from the Netherlands
    Sape, Akke and Gaatske

  6. Congratulations Jay! Thanks for all you do for birds. You are a real hero. The news of the oil spill is heartbreaking and the work you are doing is like a ray of hope that helps keep us from being totally overcome by sorrow over the damage that is being caused.

  7. To Jay Holcomb or anyone at IBRRC,as a retired ornithologist and author of a bird book on Cedar Key, FL, I would like to know what species of birds you have been treated. At Cedar Key is a huge nesting colony of Brown Pelicans and wading birds. It would be helpful to know what species you have encountered to compare with those we have.
    David W. Johnston, PhD.

  8. Bird species at risk along the fragile gulf coast include Louisiana's state bird, the Brown Pelican, Royal Terns, Caspian Terns, Beach-nesting shorebirds: American Oystercatcher, Wilson’s Plover, Snowy Plover; Marsh birds: Mottled Duck, Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Seaside Sparrow.

  9. Doing more to help those birds then those bunch of greenpeace wackos running around waving signs in the air you acuialy help their birds instead of using them for big money making ploys

Comments are closed.