Following multiple oil spills in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, hundreds of birds and other wildlife have been found covered in oil. The species of bird impacted include black-bellied whistling ducks, blue-winged teal and a variety of egret species along with alligators, river otters and nutria.
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently investigating hundreds of oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico including a spill at the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana and a miles-long spill about two miles from Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
According to Louisianan biologist, Jon Wiebe, 10 birds were captured and taken to a rehabilitation center for cleaning, while five birds were found dead.
“The number of oiled birds documented, with more expected, have been observed within heavy pockets of crude oil throughout the facility as well as nearby flooded fields and retention ponds,” the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) said regarding the Alliance Refinery spill.
Crude oil from the Alliance Refinery spill, which was first reported by The Associated Press on Sept. 1, was being cleaned with booms and absorbent pads, according to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The refinery is owned by Phillips 66 and, when fully operational, has the “capacity to process more than 255,000 barrels of crude oil a day,” according to EcoWatch.
While there is no official estimate of how much crude oil spilled from the Alliance Refinery, LDWF said it could take weeks to save the affected wildlife. The refinery remained closed as of Thursday without a reopening date yet announced.