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Published on May 21, 2024
Coast Guard, State Agencies Launch Probe as Oil Pollution Hits Oregon and Washington CoastsSource: Facebook/Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Marine wildlife along the coasts of Oregon and Washington is facing an oily crisis. The United States Coast Guard, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality have mobilized to investigate reports of oiled birds and tar balls discovered on the picturesque beaches stretching from Long Beach, Washington, to Lincoln City, Oregon. According to KATU News, officials have been quick to take action, sending samples of the mysterious tar to laboratories in hopes of identifying the source.

In an attempt to thoroughly investigate the incidents, Washington wildlife officials have publicly stated their partnership with the Coast Guard, triggering a collaborative search for any potential oil spills that could explain the sudden appearance of pollution. "We’ve received several reports of oiled birds,” read a statement by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, reported by KPTV. Concerned citizens have been warned not to personally attempt to handle the affected wildlife, as this could increase the risk for both humans and animals. Instead, trained professionals are to be solely responsible for the safe capture and care of these creatures.

The situation has a somber note, with seven oiled seabirds found, all Common Murres, which are native to the region. Tragically, one of these birds had to be euthanized due to the severity of its condition, as reported by officials to KATU News. The state of the remaining birds and the full environmental impact of the event are still being assessed.

The various state agencies and the Coast Guard are continuing to urgently piece together this oily puzzle to ensure that such events are minimized or prevented in the future. The public is encouraged to keep a vigilant eye and immediately report any additional sightings of pollution to the authorities.