Audubon chapter recruiting volunteers for oil cleanup

A bird is mired in oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast. Aiken-Augusta Audubon is joining other chapters in recruiting volunteers to help with the cleanup of oil-soaked wildlife.

Aiken-Augusta Audubon is joining scores of other National Audubon Society chapters in recruiting volunteers to help with the cleanup of the Gulf oil spill.


"Millions of birds are nesting and breeding in the path of what may well become America's worst environmental catastrophe," says a notice on the local chapter's Web site. "Globally significant important bird areas -- essential to survival of already imperiled species -- are at risk from Louisiana to Florida's Gulf Coast."

The national conservation group is organizing training programs for volunteers on the handling of oil-soaked wildlife. Audubon is also soliciting donations to aid in the attempt to rescue wildlife affected by the spill.

The group plans to use its facility in Moss Point, Miss., to move aid to affected areas. More than 13,000 volunteers have signed up, according to a news release from the society.

Paul Koehler, the director of the Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary, said he has not been directly involved in local recruiting efforts, which are being handled online through a uniform registration process managed by the national organization.

Details on the program are available at

Monday's oil spill developments

- The cap on the blown-out well in the Gulf is capturing a half-million gallons a day, or anywhere from one-third to three-quarters of the oil spewing from the bottom of the sea, officials said Monday. But the hopeful report was offset by a warning that the far-flung slick has broken up into hundreds and even thousands of patches of oil that could inflict damage for years.

BP said it plans to replace the cap -- perhaps later this month or early next month -- with a slightly bigger one that will provide a tighter fit and thus collect more oil. It will also be designed to allow the company to suspend the cleanup and then resume it quickly if a hurricane threatens the Gulf later this season.

- President Obama said Monday he's been talking with Gulf Coast fishermen and various experts not for lofty academic reasons but "so I know whose ass to kick."

The salty words, part of Obama's recent efforts to demonstrate his engagement with the crisis, came in an interview with NBC's Today show.

- Members of Congress vowed to repeal the 1920 Death on the High Seas Act, which limits the amount of money survivors can recover in the deaths of family members killed in the oil rig explosion.

-- Associated Press