Last week in honor of Earth Day a few of us (Avian, Bridgett, Bill, Julie, Marina, Stephen, Jack and myself) got together to give our green-roof deck a bit of love. We gathered up the deck furniture, got out the sanders and went to work. If you heard something last Wednesday at lunch that sounded like 10,000 angry hornets descending on TLCD, that was us. While some of us sanded off years of sun-baked slivers, others cleaned out the detritus that had accumulated on the green-roofs. In addition to a general clean, we decided to add some new plants to the roof. What was once a green-roof is now an eatable green-roof! Amongst the native grasses and sedums you will now find strawberries, lettuce, basil and tomatoes. It’s an experiment to find out what can be grown on a living roof. Thanks to all who joined in and helped. Now get out there and enjoy a nice break or lunch on the deck.
Posts by J. Stich
Here is a message from the director of the spill response for IBRRC, Jay Holcomb. I thought that some of you might be interested to know some of the final numbers of the response effort. 5 months after the rig sank in the gulf of Mexico, our teams are coming home.
September 21, 2010
Dear Friends and Supporters,
After nearly five months working at the Gulf Oil Spill I just returned to California and want to give you an update on IBRRC’s efforts at the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
The demobilization of all four rehabilitation centers and the remaining two stabilization centers should be completed in the next few weeks as they are no longer receiving oiled birds. We still have five IBRRC response team members in the gulf helping Tri-State Bird Rescue get the last of the birds released. In terms of the rehabilitation of impacted birds, many of them did well considering the logistical and political challenges that were a part of this spill. Approximately 2,000 live oiled birds have been admitted to the rescue centers since late April.To date we have released over 1,200 birds and still have another 150 or so in care. The final numbers will be posted at the official end of the rehabilitation program. See: Updated bird numbers
This was an unprecedented event in our nation’s and IBRRC’s history. Our organization mobilized over 88 response team members, and completed well over 400 media interviews from CNN to documentary film crews. We also provided our expertise to the U.S. government and various organizations and agencies involved in the spill. In addition, we cared for many new species of birds and provided invaluable experience to new and existing staff and response team members.
During this large-scale effort, while up to our elbows in oiled pelicans and chaos, we received an outpouring of good will and encouragement from our supporters, members and others who repeatedly relayed to us that our efforts gave them hope during what seemed like a hopeless situation. This was an unexpected surprise and meant a great deal to all of us who worked long hours to ensure that each bird received expert care.
The specific details and stories, as well as more pictures and video of our spill response and experiences will be forthcoming in the next few months. To commemorate this historic event, we have also created a limited edition t-shirt that honors and displays the birds that were the true stars of the oil spill and deserve the most recognition. The shirt is available for purchase at our online store.
On behalf of all of our staff, volunteers and response team, I want to thank you for your support during the spill. We look forward to seeing you and talking to you in the future.
Jay Holcomb, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)
I just wanted to post a quick update on the spill. Attached is a link to the current bird list, which is updated daily (Bird list).Things are going very well and the rehabilitation effort has been very successful.
There have been some interesting comments in the news lately about the validity of rehabilitation oiled birds.
This is a debate that always comes up, especially with a spill of this magnitude. The bottom line is that this is a man-made disaster and we are responsible for the clean up and the restoration of the damage we have done to the environment. No matter the cost.
The comment this time was made by Brian Sharp, an ornithologist who has a private consulting firm in Oregon, in an interview with NPR. His infamous 1996 report “Post Release Survival of Oiled, Cleaned Seabirds in North America” Ibis. Vol. 138:222-228
Sharp says he believes many of the cleaned birds will simply not survive after being released back to the wild. That’s because in the wake of the Exxon Valdez accident, he looked at several species of seabirds affected by oil to see how long they lived after being washed and banded with ID tags.
Based on tags that were later found, Sharp says the majority of rehabilitated birds didn’t last long after being released — just days, or weeks.
“When they’re released, they’re still incapacitated,” he says. “They’re still sick.”
The birds hadn’t been just covered in oil — they’d ingested it as they tried to preen. Sharp says he does understand how agonizing it is to see the suffering of oiled birds, and he thinks that if people want to try to clean them, that’s their choice.
“Just so that they don’t deceive themselves and the public that they’re really having great, grand results and saving lots and lots, a high proportion of the birds,” Sharp says. “Because it’s just the opposite.”
“The study relies on anecdotal band returns (meaning there is no daily tracking method for individuals released and no control groups observed.) These surveys are misleading because they fail to consider some important variables: the protocols used to care for the birds in question, the experience of the organization caring for the oiled birds and basic things like how the bird’s health and water proofing were assessed prior to release.” – Jay Holcomb
We have come a long way since the Exxon Valdez accident. The reality is that every spill is different and they need to be treated as such. Every species effected in a spill has different requirements and because of this we deal with every species differently. For Brian Sharp to say that rehabilitation doesn’t work is both ignorant and irresponsible.
Monday, TLCD held a BBQ on the main deck to welcome the Kaiser trailer team back to the office. After being offsite for 2 years, the team will usher the new Northwing hospital expansion (82 bed addition; 146,400 sqft.) to completion by October 2010. Working closely with OSHPD from day one, the team was able to obtain approval for the hospital expansion in a unprecedented 15 months, with no deferred approvals.
Our office was able to provide Kaiser with the Architectural Design, Interior Design, Master Planning/Disruption Planning, Medical Planning/ Programming, Equipment Planning, Furniture Planning, Project Management, and BIM Consulting/Implementation.
Welcome back everyone, thanks for all of your (continuing) hard work!
Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I’ve been here just over a week now in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR) working with local, state and federal wildlife officials gathering data and learning my way around the refuge. I’ll catch everyone up quickly… The day after I got here we started to head out on search and collection missions around the DNWR. BP is using local boat captains as guides and we (IBRRC)are manning each boat with two of our staff. This local fisherman know this area very well, most of them grew up fishing these waters. It was a smart move on BP’s part because the waters are closed to all fishing and the delta is littered with abandoned oil wells and pipelines. The area is deceptively shallow in places and if you didn’t know which channel or passage to take you might just have to spend the night out stuck in the mississippi mud with the alligators and water moccasins. Honestly this is the strangest spill I have worked to date. There is an estimated 5,000,000 gallons of oil spilt and the gulf currents are keeping it off shore. BP has not been able to cap the leaks and unfortunately this could go on for a very long time. Small stringers of oil (small meaning 10-20 miles in length and 1/2-1 mile wide) will “brush” the delta but so far we have seen very little sign of oil. If the oil does come in this will be by far the worst natural disaster the US has seen, well beyond the Valdez spill. The main area that the oil is threatening is the Mississippi Delta (Click here for satellite images) region which is a network of marsh lands and shallow mud flats. Areas that would be almost impossible to access to clean the oil. On top of that millions of birds and other species call this area home. It feels like there is a bomb out there that everyone can see, no one can disarm and everyone knows it will eventually go off, it’s just a matter of time and all we can do is helplessly watch. Needless to say tensions are high. NOAA Image for 5/12/2010
Right now I am leading a “hotshot team”
of 6 search and collection team members that are now living aboard a barge located in Dennis Pass out in the middle of the delta. We leave everyone morning in our boats to search our assigned zones. At the end of the day or when the weather changes we head back to the barge to report our finding to the US Fish and Wild Service who then relay the information up the chain of command. Its been really interesting to see this spill unfold. NOAA handles all offshore activity, the coast guard is in charge of cleanup, USFWS is in charge of anything with in the delta, USDA (that’s right the food people) have an animal services division that specializes in capture / collection and we are floating between all agencies helping/training them as the need arises. Until now we’ve been out of cell range but we finally got satellite communication aboard the barge…its slow but working! So far we only have a few birds in our center.
Partially because like I said earlier the oil is staying out at sea and partially because they will not allow us to head out to ground zero where all the oil is. Can’t catch oiled birds if you’re not where the oil is! We are working on getting permission to go out there to see the devastation for ourselves. Until then we’ll keep working the southern tip of the delta. Thanks again for your support. I will write more was thing progress.
Is this the future of healthcare? If it is someone will need to design these mobile clinics.
Challenges: Create a solar-powered, light weight, camel friendly design.
“Kenya’s camels recently started sporting some unusual apparel: eco-friendly refrigerators! Some of the African country’s camels are carrying the solar-powered mini fridges on their backs as part of a test project that uses camels as mobile health clinics. Organizers hope the eco-friendly transport system will provide a cheap, reliable way of getting much-needed medicines and vaccines to rural communities in Kenya and Ethiopia.”-inhabitant
Necessity is truly the mother of invention. This is a great, check it out!
It may not be to everyone’s liking but I think this is a beautiful building.
I found this site this weekend. There are some great articles!
The Lost Dog Wash Trailhead project is located in Scottsdale Arizona and featured in this months Green Source publication. It’s rare that this much attention is put into public restrooms but it’s proof that everything should be thoughtfully considered and well designed.
“Located at the heart of this seven-acre site, the Trailhead Gateway Structure totals 4,000 square feet and includes public restrooms, composting operations, and maintenance facilities, as well as covered seating and a sunrise viewing area. Nearby lies the Desert Amphitheater and the Equestrian Staging Area, while separate parking areas serve hiking and horseback riding trails. The design of the site and outlying structures accommodate guest lectures and field-based classrooms, along with providing opportunities for bird watching, picnicking, and guided interpretive hikes so participants can learn about local history.”-G.S.
Check out the slideshow for more great images!
Here is an interesting lighting system that can be easily retrofitted into existing lighting systems. Like may of the new systems out there it gives users more control over the lighting in the area they are working. This system gives users three options for control. They can control wireless radios that plug into florescent light fixtures through their PC, dual motion sensing-personal control system and wall switches. The system also allows you to see how much energy/carbon you are saving. It’s pretty cool!