This is the second in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.
Today’s featured finalist is Jay Holcomb, the Executive Director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC). Coincidentally, Jay is down on the Gulf coast as we speak, preparing to lead his organization’s efforts to clean up oiled wildlife from the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Jay has dedicated the last 24 years to seabird rehabilitation and oiled wildlife response. He began as a volunteer responding to California oil spills in the 1970s and ‘80s, and since then Jay has led IBRRC’s oiled wildlife rescue team on over 200 oil spill responses around the world, including spills in France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Estonia, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands.
During the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, Jay directed the wildlife search and rescue program in Prince William Sound, and managed the entire 6-month rehabilitation program, which cared for over 1,600 birds.
Then, in 2000, he oversaw the rehabilitation of 21,000 oiled African penguins in South Africa, one third of the entire world population of that species. More than 90% of the penguins were successfully returned to the wild, making it the largest and most successful oiled bird rehabilitation program ever mounted.
Here’s a video of Jay cleaning a storm-battered Pelican at the IBRRC:
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the other finalists and cast your vote!
- Ocean News: Regulators Propose Whale Sanctuary in the Canary Islands, Harbor Seals Found to Forage around Wind Farms, and More Posted Thu, July 24, 2014
- Obama Administration Approves Seismic Airgun Use off the Atlantic Coast In Spite of Local Opposition and Threats to Marine Life Posted Fri, July 18, 2014
- Ocean News: Green Sea Turtle Makes Longest Migration Ever Recorded, Small Oil Spill Found off of Italy, and More Posted Mon, July 21, 2014
- North Atlantic Great White Sharks are Rebounding, but that’s Not the Case for All Species Posted Mon, July 21, 2014
- Video: Oceana Exposes Illegal Drift Gillnet Use in Italy Posted Mon, July 21, 2014