EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story had a video package for another story attached. This has been updated. (Oct. 25, 2021)
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach has been caring for wildlife impacted by the oil spill off the Orange County coast.
What You Need To Know
- The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach is one of the facilities receiving an influx of patients after the recent oil spill off the coast
- Dr. Elizabeth Wood explains patient intake at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center during a crisis is akin to running a hospital during COVID-19
- It’s been all hands on deck with multiple agencies collaborating to clean our coast and rescue wildlife
- If you’re interested in helping WWCC, visit https://www.wwccoc.org
Dr. Elizabeth Wood, who has been attending a steady flow of patients, explained that patient intake during a crisis is akin to running a hospital during COVID-19. She is one of the many team members at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center who have been on the front line of response.
“It’s been an intense couple of weeks. We have divided our center into oiled and non-oiled patients. There are two separate issues, there is a crisis that we are managing, but then we are also keeping our facility open and managing thousands of other patients,” Wood said. “Everybody’s putting in extra time. The extraordinary help is coming from our technician team and our 150 plus volunteers who have been here just putting in tons and tons of time.”
Kendra Leak is a volunteer who has spent her time combing the beaches to bring oiled wildlife to the rescue center.
“I was part of the response team that was responding to calls of the oiled wildlife from the public,” said Leak, who also works with Orange County Coastkeeper.
It has been all hands on deck with multiple agencies collaborating to clean the coast and rescue wildlife.
“I think there’s no better feeling than to watch a wild animal come into our care and get really good high quality care and then be released out into the wild. It really is a testament to this inter-agency collaboration that’s happening and tons and tons of volunteer help,” Wood said.
The staff is driven by a greater passion, though, one that will burn bright even when attention to the oil spill fades.
“Our top priority is protecting the health of these ecosystems which we have changed and impacted so much,” Wood said.
If you are interested in helping WWCC, visit https://www.wwccoc.org.