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PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2018 


A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

Daily Newscasts

Group: Wildlife Casualties Just Beginning in Gulf Spill

May 5, 2010

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - While Gulf Coast residents are waiting for the oil to strike their shores, at least 31 dead sea turtles have washed ashore in Mississippi. They are believed to be among the first casualties of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Doug Inkley, senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), predicts the toll on Florida's wildlife is just beginning. He says many species are at risk, including dolphins, the endangered snowy plover and other wading birds, and the brown pelican. The latter had just been removed from the endangered species list last year. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is nesting season for many birds, marine life and animals, Inkley explains. Their young are even more vulnerable, and nesting parents are less likely to try to relocate away from the danger.

"The effects include an immediate loss of the insulation ability of their feathers, causing them to be more exposed to the water and, even in the Gulf of Mexico, suffering from hypothermia and dying. And if they ingest some of that oil, which they inevitably do, it can have toxic effects."

Some of the effects are immediate, he says, and there are others the public cannot readily see, that could take their toll on wildlife populations for years to come.

"This is kind-of like a slow motion train wreck, where things are happening gradually because of the way oil moves throughout the ecosystem. So, while we may have these oiled birds washing up, we're likely to have long-term effects affecting the reproductive ability of many species of animals."

He's concerned that, when it comes to oil spills, history continues to repeat itself.

"Already there are reports that the amount of oil that has been spilled exceeds that of the Exxon Valdez, which we're still suffering from the effects of today. You can still go up there and find pockets of tarred oil on some of the beaches."

Inkley notes that, in the weeks following the Valdez spill, thousands of volunteers were moved to help clean up the animals. He explains that people should not pick up injured wildlife without proper training. He says NWF scientists are on the ground assessing the situation, and standing by to examine injured animals and to organize volunteer relief efforts.

Gina Presson , Public News Service - FL