Protecting Fresno County Waterways from Oil Spills

FRESNO, Calif. -  

 

  

 

 

  You've likely seen these images before.  Seagulls and other waterfowl being scrubbed clean from the effects of an oil spill on the coast.

 

  But oil spill accidents and their damaging results can happen inland too.  

 

  Last December's deadly crash of an experimental plane happened just after take-off near Sierra Sky Park and the San Joaquin River.  It left two people dead.  And oil leaking from the plane could have put wildlife and other people at risk

 

  Roy Kim is an Environmental Scientist with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife.  He works in the Department of Oil Spill Prevention and Response and went to the scene of that crash to assess the threat and make sure that the oil got cleaned up so it didn't impact any fisheries or recreational areas.

  

  The passage of Senate Bill 861 in 2015 provided additional funding for oil spill prevention and response for California's inland areas-- protecting our waterways and the fish and wildlife that consider them home.  "What it means is we have more comprehensive coverage of the natural resources  throughout California.  We're not only covering the coastline, we're covering lakes and rivers," says Aubrey Henry with the Calif. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 

  When a spill occurs, be it from a train, a truck, or a pipeline, a team will respond-- consisting of a warden, an environmental scientist and an oil spill prevention specialist.  "We facilitate the cleanups for oil spills in the region and make sure we're protecting the environment and the fish and wildlife," says environmental scientist Roy Kim.

 

  The calls for response can range from once a week to once a day.  But should the need arise, a team is slated to be there and manage the clean-up


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