Planning and Prevention Abstracts
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Upgrading and maintaining a global stockpile of
oiled wildlife equipment
and its application within a
Tier 3 response
Oil Spill Response Ltd
To address the ongoing risk and observed historical consequences of hydrocarbon pollution on wildlife, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) provides access to wildlife equipment packages to Members as part of the Service Level Agreement. Those packages provide the necessary equipment to support trained oiled wildlife responders in the reconnaissance, capture, transportation, triage and stabilisation of birds in the first 48 hours of a response as well as specialist equipment to help initiate rehabilitation operations.
Like all ready-to-deploy equipment, the OSRL equipment stockpile requires regular maintenance, review and upgrades. The most recent upgrade project incorporated recommendations from leading wildlife response organisations as part of the Global Oiled Wildlife Response (GOWRS) Project. The objectives of the Oiled Wildlife Equipment Upgrade were twofold; firstly, to standardise the global equipment packages situated in Singapore, UK, USA and Bahrain Bases, and secondly, to align the contents and configuration according to international good practice as defined by leading oiled wildlife responders and published by IPIECA, the global oil and gas association dedicated to advancing environmental and social performance.
As part of OSRL’s established Subject Matter Expert (SME) Programme, the Wildlife Core Group was born in 2021 to bring together a cohort of operationally focused response personnel from across OSRL’s regional bases to enhance understanding and improve capability in this area of response.
Members of the Core Group are custodians of the wildlife equipment in their respective bases and implemented the upgrades in collaboration amidst the backdrop of an unprecedented global pandemic.
This paper will give an overview of the recent upgrade of the OSRL wildlife equipment stockpile, the challenges faced, and the people involved in its implementation. It will also highlight the gaps that still exist along with future ideas for more specialist equipment for specific species.
Oiled Marine Mammal Response Preparedness in the U.S.
Greg Frankfurter, DVM
Karen C Drayer
Wildlife Health Center
The breadth of potential impacts from oil spills on marine mammals became evident during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH). In response to DWH NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), produced an extensive updated to their National Guidelines for marine mammal response. These guidelines incorporated knowledge and experience gained in oiled marine mammal management, response, and care.
Since the update of the National Guidelines, the NMFS has worked with the UC Davis Wildlife Health to develop regional annex documents to accompany the national guidelines. These annex documents contain specifics of facilities and equipment in each region, along with primary command and response personnel and infrastructure resources. These allow for better planning and preparedness and provide quick access to resources during response efforts.
To further planning efforts, the NMFS has contracted for development of regional plans with tailored information and response strategies for the species infrastructure, and conditions present in each U.S. region. These documents further assist with preparedness efforts and understanding key differences between U.S. stranding regions.
Coupled with these written documents, a variety of training tools have been developed to increase responder capacity and individual readiness - as few individuals have experience working in oiled marine mammal response. Several trainings and drills have been developed and led with this specific focus. These trainings can be broadly split into two categories: Safety and communication (i.e. HAZWOPER, “Oil Spill 101”, and ICS trainings), and response (animal handling and care, planning and facility readiness, and drills). The goal of these projects is to better prepare the marine mammal health and stranding community to work in disaster and mass- casualty incidents. Trained marine mammal responders are entered into a national database to allow quicker deployment for any marine mammal disaster response.
Booming considerations for enhancing wildlife protections during oil spill response
Focus Wildlife Canada, LLC
In 1968 the M/V Schiedyk, a 147-meter (482-foot) bulk carrier, shipwrecked in the vicinity of Bligh Island
/ Zuciarte Channel in Nootka Sound on the western coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. 52 years later, in 2020, its stored fuel upwelling was observed to be increasing. Wildlife response operations were activated to assess and monitor wildlife for actual and potential impacts. Nootka Sound, including the shipwreck site, is an environmentally sensitive and highly important migratory bird area.
The potential effectiveness of booming strategies employed during this event, and other techniques commonly used in the industry, were assessed with regard to actual effects and anticipated impacts on wildlife. Approximately six months of oiled wildlife response operations and systematic oil-on-water observations guided the assessment criteria.
This presentation summarizes the field observations undertaken during the Schiedyk response and identifies booming considerations as an essential tool to protect non impacted wildlife during oil spill events, including how different booming strategies could affect the fate and behaviour of discharged oil, thus reducing the risk to wildlife.
Marine Mammal Disaster Response Infrastructure
Greg Frankfurter, DVM
Karen C Drayer
Wildlife Health Center
From mass strandings to oil spills, marine mammal disaster response has been a growing concern worldwide. These incidents are rare and can impact any coastline; this in turn makes readiness potentially costly and difficult to maintain. In locations with strong rehabilitation programs or oil spill response programs, maintaining readiness for such events may be more realistic. However, given the extent of coastlines and limited number of rehabilitation centers, solutions are needed to prepare the rest of our coastlines for such incidence.
Readiness for marine mammal response requires a multi-tiered approach including training, protocol implementation, and equipment development. In regions where marine mammal rehabilitation and stranding response occur regularly, permanent facilities may already be available for response, but they often require supplementation for oiled animals. We surveyed marine mammal rehabilitation facilities and response organizations around the United States and Canada. While 81 organizations reported live marine mammal response capabilities, only 8 (9.8%) reported the ability to care for oiled animals.
Purchasing and maintaining marine mammal specific response equipment is costly and time- consuming. Furthermore, equipment transport, development and caching is challenging. To meet these global concerns and to supplement response in regions with active stranding networks, developing multi-use, portable, low-maintenance equipment has been a focus of multiple organizations. This model allows caches of equipment to be maintained in strategic locations.
Equipment is being designed to require minimal maintenance, quick setup, and be portable to allow shipment by air. Additionally, centers or stranding networks can purchase equipment to be able to retrofit existing rehabilitation centers for oiled marine mammal response.
As stranding response and conservation concerns expand internationally, the need to develop equipment stores for rapid response to epidemics, mass strandings, and oil spills is growing. The systems currently in development may provide for more rapid response to these incidents.