Dozens of birds have been submerged in oil from spills in Louisiana caused by Hurricane Ida, and wildlife officials expect more will be found.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) said in a news release that birds have been observed “within heavy pockets of crude oil” at the Alliance Refinery where the spill occurred “as well as [in] nearby flooded fields and retention ponds.”
The spill happened on August 29 in Belle Chasse, which is in Plaquemines Parish and part of the greater New Orleans area. The effort to save the birds and other animals may take weeks, the LDWF said. Some birds have already been captured and transported to designated rehabilitation locations.
The bird species affected include black-bellied whistling ducks, blue-winged teal and a variety of egret species. Wildlife officials also found alligators, river otters and nutria covered in some degree of oil.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has been investigating hundreds of oils spills since the massive storm made landfall.
The USCG said it is “prioritizing” approximately 350 oil spill “incidents for further investigation by state, local, and federal authorities” in the wake of the powerful Category 4 storm.
The incidents range from “minor to potentially notable pollution reporting,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom said.
LDWF is working the spill in conjunction with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with assistance from the Alliance Refinery.
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