Lessons well learned

Sequim Gazette staff

Oil spills aren’t confined to the Gulf of Mexico or Prince William Sound in Alaska. They have occurred in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the devastating 1985 Arco Anchorage spill in Port Angeles Harbor.


Bob Boekelheide, director of the Audubon Dungeness Center in Sequim, said at some point another oil spill will blacken Clallam County shores.


To review the issues associated with oil spills on the peninsula, the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee, the Feiro Speaker Series and the Olympic Coast Guard National Marine Sanctuary will present “Oil Spills & Wildlife of the Olympic Peninsula” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Feiro Marine Life Center, 315 N. Lincoln St., Port Angeles.


If attendance exceeds the Feiro center’s capacity, the event will move to the adjacent Landings Mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave.


Topics include the impact of oil spills on Puget Sound marine birds, lessons learned from past spills and the future of volunteer oiled-bird response in western Washington.


Curt Clumpner, with the International Bird Rescue Research Center, will share his photos and personal recollections of the Arco Anchorage spill and other Pacific Northwest spills.


Andy Carlson, member of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s oil spill team, will describe the current state of oiled-bird response equipment and volunteer readiness in western Washington.


Boekelheide will identify the local marine birds most vulnerable to oil spills, based on data from the 1985 spill and other sources.


Limited seating available. For more information or to reserve a space call 417-6254. A $5 donation is suggested.

Get your hands dirty

For the third year in a row, the Clallam Marine Resources Committee is offering a free 8-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response class for those who are interested in “oiled wildlife response.” That means collecting, cleaning and rehabilitating birds and other wildlife that have been the victims of an oil spill. Those who complete the course will receive a certificate, which is required before volunteers can work directly with oiled wildlife.


Those who are certified can attend the class as an annual refresher course.


The class will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Guy Cole Convention Center, Carrie Blake Park, Sequim. Preregistration by Jan. 26 is required. To register for the Sequim class, go to


For more information, call 360-565-2619.



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