Sometimes it takes dramatic video to effect change. That appeared to be the case last week. On Friday, WLOX reporter Steve Phillips went to Ship Island along with a number of tourists. What he saw was quite disturbing.
Just a few feet away from the boardwalk to the beach were several oily birds. One bird looked like it was barely alive. The fact that these birds were not rescued quickly and were out on the island in this condition is inexcusable.
A number of agencies could share the blame for failing to help the birds in a timely fashion. But hopefully something good has now happened. Local agencies can now respond immediately to birds in peril in our community. Before a report had to go through the Unified Command in Mobile. Now Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is the first responder.
In addition, DMR has access to bigger boats that will give better access to the islands even in bad weather, which was part of the problem last week.
Unfortunately, in the coming days we will probably hear more about birds soaked in oil. Our hope now is those birds will be rescued in a timely manner and cleaned and returned to the wild. Anything else is not acceptable.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
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