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UC Davis wildlife expert to assist at Gulf spill

UC Davis veterinarian Michael Ziccardi, director of the California Oiled Wildlife Care Network, is now in Louisiana leading planning for the protection and rescue of sea turtles and marine mammals from the oil spill in the Gulf.

California is “considered the model” for dealing with oil spills, Ziccardi told the Sacramento Bee. The network has participated in cleanup of a number of major spills, including the Cosco Busan spill in San Francisco Bay in 2007, and Ziccardi has written national response plans and guidelines.

On the Gulf Coast, he will be putting in place an emergency command structure to coordinate groups dealing with birds, turtles, manatees and other animals, should they be affected.

There is still some hope that the oil will mostly be contained offshore where it will have less impact on wildlife, he told the Bee. If so, the experience will still benefit the Gulf Coast as a drill for a major disaster.

The OWCN has a blog, here.

A couple of videos on the network from 2008 and a piece on the anniversary of the Cosco Busan spill.

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