A Hero A Day: Day 2 — Paul Link

14 Aug

The Spill Isn’t Over for Wildlife

Don’t bother telling Paul Link the oil in the Gulf of Mexico has vanished. He knows better. Three days a week, Link, who works with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, heads out into the marshes and barrier islands near Hopedale, Louisiana, to rescue oiled birds. Link says the oil in the water has certainly changed consistencies, from thick rafts seen early in the disaster to lighter sheens that may be originating from subsea or suspended oil. But it’s these sheens that are now wreaking havoc on birds in the Gulf. “The birds do not appear to be oiled from a distance but are covered with a clear-coat-like varnish,” Link says. “They are unable to fly and lose most of their buoyancy.” There have been a couple of days in the past two weeks when Link and his team picked up fifty-plus live oiled birds and hundreds of carcasses.

Paul Link rescues an oiled juvenile laughing gull (Photo by John Gardner)


As we know treasured wildlife and wild places have been devastated by the BP oil spill. An estimated 186 million gallons have poured into the Gulf of Mexico impacting dolphins, brown pelicans, as well as threatened and endangered sea turtles. Some animals have been found dead. Others have been found dying or coated in the toxic oil that has polluted extensive areas of their habitat.   If you would like to donate & support Paul Link in his wildlife crusade please visit the National Wildlife Federation:  https://online.nwf.org/site/Donation2?df_id=16662&16662.donation=form1

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