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Agencies Work Together to Clean Up Oil, Recover Impacted Wildlife

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2005

Contacts:
Lt. Cmdr. Cheri' Ben-Iesau, U.S. Coast Guard, (504) 628-4309
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (404) 679-7291 or 678-296-6400

 

NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Amerada Hess Corporation are working together today to cleanup an oil spill and recover impacted wildlife at a rookery on West Breton Island.

More than 75 people are on scene to recover the released oil and to aid in the recovery of the affected wildlife. Containment boom and absorbent pads have been deployed on site and the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education, and the International Bird Rescue Research Center have established a rehabilitation site in Venice, La., to care for oiled birds.

Workers recovered 281 brown pelicans, 90 of these birds have died. Another 600 birds are expected to be recovered today. Initial reports indicate 400 to 1,000 birds have been contaminated.

"We are deeply concerned about this unfortunate incident and we are taking all possible steps to respond," said Gerald Bresnick, Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety Amerada Hess Corporation. "We will continue to work closely with all federal and state agencies to mitigate this situation as quickly as possible."

A restricted zone has been established for aircraft and vessels; aircraft are not permitted within five miles of the site and vessels within two miles.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the oil spill Sunday morning when workers returned to an Amerada Hess operated platform that was evacuated in advance of Tropical Storm Arlene. An estimated 560 gallons of oil was released.

The incident is under investigation.


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



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