Up in Everett today, a one-day class for oiled wildlife certification. It’s part of the HAZWOPER training that I started last year that will make it possible to assist in the event of an oil incident here in Cascadia. Life is a constant quest for information and knowledge, at least it should be.
My own personal push to get this certification goes back to the Refugio spill of a few years back. Just outside Santa Barbara, on a beach where I learned to surf, where I’d gone on family vacations as a child, a place that has been a part of my soul for as long as I can remember, an oil pipeline burst and started spilling all over the sand and down into the water. I remember talking to people I knew who wanted to help, who saw wildlife struggling on the sand and in the water, and were frustrated by the lack of an organized response. Some of them ended up being escorted off the beach by law enforcement after trying to help because, since they hadn’t been trained, they were not in a position to supply the kind of assistance that would actually do some good.
If we ever have a catastrophic spill in Puget Sound, we’ll be scrambling. It would be best to be prepared, I think.