MIAMI –(ENEWSPF)–June 18, 2010. The Florida Peninsula Command Post continues with its planning efforts to mitigate potential wildlife impacts should they be needed in the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys arising from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.
Under federal and state law, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have the responsibility to regulate activities affecting migratory birds, marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and other wildlife potentially impacted by the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. In consultation with these agencies, Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research has been contracted to rescue, treat, and rehabilitate birds and other wildlife across the Gulf of Mexico, including the Florida Peninsula. The Southeast Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network will be activated to respond to marine mammal and manatee issues, if required. Sea turtle response activities will be coordinated FWS, NMFS and FWC with the support of permit holders and experts from the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.
Individuals who do not have federal or state wildlife permits are not authorized to handle impacted wildlife. Individuals interested in volunteering in other capacities should register at www.volunteerflorida.org.
Members of the public should call the Oiled Wildlife Hotline at (866) 557-1401 if they observe any wildlife that appears to be oiled. The public is advised not to attempt to rescue or capture oiled or injured birds or wildlife on their own. Doing so can cause more harm to the wildlife and injure the handler. If oiled wildlife appears on Florida Peninsula shorelines, Tri-State will generally coordinate with the local wildlife rehabilitation centers closest to where the oiled wildlife are found.
Although the risk remains low for pollution threats to the Florida Peninsula, the Florida Peninsula Command Post is continuing its planning and surveillance efforts in the event that a response is needed.