NOTE: Updates will be posted as information becomes available.
On Monday, July 27, 2010 a 30-inch pipeline belonging to U.S. affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners transporting crude oil from Griffith, Indiana to Sarnia, Ontario spilled 19,500 barrels of oil into Talmadge Creek, which flows into the Kalamazoo River. A state of disaster was declared on Tuesday.
The EPA estimates over 1 million gallons of crude oil spilled into Talmadge Creek; the site currently includes a 25-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, which is at higher than average levels due to heavy rain falls. The site area lies between Marshall and Battle Creek and includes marshlands, residential areas, farmland, and businesses.
Wildlife cleanup efforts has been contracted to Focus Wildlife. They are an emergency resource development organization that works with government, industry, and NGOs to address region-specific emergency wildlife issues. Their offices are located in Anacortes, Washington and North Vancouver, British Columbia and they are charged with coordinating all wildlife rescue efforts here in Michigan.
A temporary, emergency wildlife center was created on Monday; the first animals came in on Tuesday. The center is intended to be operational 7 days a week. Michigan’s Wildside Rehabilitation and Education Center in Eaton Rapids is one of the primary local organizations working with Focus Wildlife.
If you are in Calhoun County and wish to volunteer your services you may simply dial “211″ to register. Outside Calhoun County you may call 269-565-4159 to register. The “211 coordinator” will contact you, making note of your qualifications and then work with Focus Wildlife on a continuing basis to make volunteer assignments.
When asked for your qualifications, be sure to state if you are a Michigan-licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
It is strongly suggested that you avoid calling any single person directly about volunteering. Registering by calling one of the numbers noted above is the best way to keep the process as streamlined and effective as possible.
To report oiled wildlife: 800-306-6837. A crew will be dispatched to collect them (if possible); they are then brought to the wildlife center for triage.