New Audubon Report on the Gulf: There

New Audubon Report on the Gulf: There

Editor
Published: 10/13/2010

Gerry Ellis/Audubon
“What did the scientists see? They saw birds and they saw oil. And too often, they saw them together.” That’s the bottom line from a new report, “Oil and Birds: Too Close for Comfort,” released today by the National Audubon Society.

The report details the findings of Audubon scientists who visited the oil-plagued Gulf Coast six months after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

 
During their weeklong journey, the scientists made some interesting discoveries. Like the fact that oil’s still around—and visible. They saw oil in nine of out 10 transects along Barataria-Terrebonne Bay and the Isles Dernieres-Timbalier—both globally significant IBAs. The oil didn’t always look the same; sometimes it sat beneath the sand, oozing to the surface when prodded. In other places, it lay dormant under the water’s surface, becoming visible only as it crashed into the shore or during high tide. Either way, it was still there.
 
Also, the Audubon scientists saw oiled birds, but only three total out of 10,000 birds counted.
 
Audubon’s had a presence on the Gulf Coast for more than a century. And the organization will continue its work there post-spill, aiming to turn tragedy into something positive by rebuilding and restorating the land, and trying to reverse coastal erosion and stabilize populations of area birds. “Through long-term commitment,” the report reads, “we can go beyond recovering from this assault on a precious landscape to improving its bounty for birds and people.”
 
For a full copy of the report, click here.