Saturday, November 10, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO BAY OIL SPILL: Thousands jam phones to volunteer

Thousands of people have inundated wildlife hot lines, eager to help rescue birds, clean beaches and volunteer their time.

That means the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis is overwhelmed, and phones are jammed.

Spokeswoman Sylvia Wright said 55 volunteers have been trained to rescue birds and will be working with the animals Saturday. Meanwhile, 250 more volunteers who were the first to call on Friday will be the next to be trained.

The group provides a two-hour training session in Fairfield that is mandatory before volunteers are allowed to handle injured or oil-soaked wildlife.

For now, rather than calling, Wright asked that people who want to volunteer check the group's Web site,

California's Department of Fish and Game is also stepping in to help, and will offer classes Saturday in San Francisco, Sausalito and Richmond, explaining how cleanups are conducted and how to get trained in wildlife recovery. The sessions will not offer actual training.

The classes will be held:

-- From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., San Francisco. (415) 974-4060.

-- From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, 1340 Marina Way South, Richmond. (510) 236-1013.

-- From 5 to 7 p.m. at the Headlands Institute, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Building 1033, Sausalito. (415) 332-5771.

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