Spills Are Sandy’s Latest Wildlife Impact

The New York State Department of Wildlife Conservation (DEC) is reporting some oiled birds as a result of an oil spill on a Hudson River tributary in Kingston, NY.

More details about the spill are available from the Watershed Post and a report from the Hudson River’s Riverkeeper.
Read the Watershed Post piece, here.
And see the Riverkeeper site for more information about non-point source pollution in the area affected by Sandy.

There is also an oil spill in the Arthur Kill, a narrow waterway between Staten Island and New Jersey. The Hudson Valley Press Online is reporting a spill and clean-up at a local oil company on the Arthur Kill and nearby waterways. Read the story, here.

It appears a nearby marina is stumped by by the appearance of oil. New Jersey News 12 offers a brief write-up and a clip. See it here.

The New York State DEC also announced that shellfishing is closed off Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk Counties until next week because of sewage in the water. Read the details in the NYS DEC press release, here.

Photo: DEC staff rescuing a great blue heron harmed by an oil spill in the Hudson Valley after Hurricane Sandy. Photo used courtesy of NYS DEC.

Irene Round-up

Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon, so nature pretty much takes care of itself during and after one. It’s the human factor that turns the collision of hurricane and wildlife into news. Here’s a look at how humans and wildlife are interacting after Irene:

-The US Fish and Wildlife Service has posted a list of damaged or closed facilities. It’s perhaps no surprise, considering how hard hit Vermont was, that its White River Fish Hatchery, in Vermont, is under water. Find the rest of the list, here.

-A whimbrel, a shorebird, that was tagged by a radio transmitter was tracked flying through the hurricane. It survived. Read the story in USA Today, although it appeared in many other news outlets.

-I am learning that after each natural disaster a story about how wildlife rehabilitators are assisting displaced wildlife is part of the boilerplate coverage. This time it’s wildlife rehabilitators assisting baby squirrels. I wish I were kidding.

-The storm was bad news for baby sea turtles and eggs still incubating on East Coast beaches. The Florida newspapers seem most interested in the story. Here’s one on the hundreds of baby sea turtles that turned up dead from Florida Today. And here’s one on the threat to nests from the Fort Pierce Tribune

-Finally, flooding washed sewage, pesticides and other contaminants into waterways along the East Coast. The New York Times has the story.

Photo: Hurricane Irene on Aug. 22, 2001. by NASA, via US Fish and Wildlife Service