Major Oil Spill Contaminates 1,000 Birds in Rotterdam Harbor
Environmental groups and volunteers are working to save about 1,000 oil-covered birds after a freighter spilled heavy fuel oil into a Rotterdam harbor on Saturday, the Netherlands' Sea Creatures Rescue Team estimated to Reuters.
Odfjell, the owner of the freighter Bow Jubail, said the vessel crashed into a jetty while mooring and accidentally ruptured its hull, releasing 217 tons of heavy fuel oil into the water.
Swans, gulls, geese and cormorants were contaminated by the oil, according to BBC News. Emergency workers trying to rescue the animals were said to be overwhelmed by the numbers.
The slick has covered a six-mile radius in the harbor, BBC News reported, citing local media. Hundreds of birds are still thought to be in the water.
"I haven't yet seen a swan untouched by the oil. It's a real catastrophe," adviser Claude Velter told Dutch TV.
Trieste aanblikken van besmeurde zwanen in #Maassluis https://t.co/825aU2ZTsY— Olivier van Det (@Olivier van Det)1529870152.0
About 250 oil-stained swans were taken to the animal shelter Vogelklas Karel Schot in Rotterdam on Sunday.
"The birds are now stabilized," the rescue center said in a Facebook post. "In addition to food and water, they need rest. It is expected that the first birds in the next few days will be stable enough to be washed."
Update: 250 knobbelzwanen in de Vogelklas. Daarmee zit ons centrum vol. We werken nauw samen met @SonRespons en… https://t.co/JkaEjgXryR— Vogelklas KarelSchot (@Vogelklas KarelSchot)1529867392.0
André de Baerdemaker, a spokesperson for Vogelklas, told Dutch broadcaster RTL News on Monday that the swans came through well overnight.
"Fortunately we have not seen any dead birds yet, but I hear that possibly dead animals have been found elsewhere," de Baerdemaker noted. "They are now extra vulnerable to infections and tomorrow we will assess which animals are strong enough to be washed."
De Baerdemaker explained (via NL Times) that the oil can potentially leak through a swan's plumage. "This causes them to get wet and hypothermic and they lose energy. Then they can't collect enough food."
Other animal rescues in The Hague and Hook of Holland also took in affected birds, BBC News reported. But as of Monday, the large overflow of impacted animals prompted state officials to set up a emergency center in a car park in the city of Maassluis.
Maassluis: Na overleg is besloten dat er tijdelijk geen zwanen meer worden gevangen omdat de opvanglocaties vol zit… https://t.co/A2kqSyK1J3— Flashphoto NL (@Flashphoto NL)1529915464.0
The Port of Rotterdam said Sunday a clean-up operation was underway.
"Experts expect that clean-up work will take days if not weeks," the Port said.
Odfjell said it "regrets the unfortunate incident and takes this matter very seriously." The company said the leakage was stopped, and there is no risk of further spills.
The company is also cooperating with Dutch authorities to "mitigate the consequences of the spill" and has set up an incident investigation team to identify the root causes.
Harbour master René de Vries told Dutch TV (via BBC News) he could not remember a spill on such a scale in the past decade. "Rotterdam was a clean harbor until Saturday and we want to keep it that way."
[Watch] Tanker Breached, Major Oil Spill in Rotterdam https://t.co/8A7Czro1du https://t.co/tJ7LjmNFxA— viswa_mfame_guru (@viswa_mfame_guru)1529911498.0
This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.
1. Kiss the Ground<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccc5f0c92a5603e68aec39e56b0db02a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3-V1j-zMZw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 22</strong></p><p>Between <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wildfires-california-washington-oregon-photos-2647585008.html" target="_self">wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tropical-storm-beta-landfall-2647760268.html" target="_self">storms battering the Gulf</a>, the impacts of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> can feel overwhelming right now. <em><a href="https://kissthegroundmovie.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kiss the Ground</a> </em>offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions.</p><p>The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.</p><p>"<em>Kiss the Ground </em>shows how feasible it is to make these changes at a grassroots level immediately and make a truly substantive impact with low cost and easy to implement solutions," Executive Producer RJ Jain said in an email. "This is why I got involved."</p>
2. Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5338f7a2931e356910026e5fd76fac56"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jsKMTAaj_wQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: YouTube</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 25, 2 p.m. EDT </strong></p><p>This <a href="https://www.patagonia.com/films/public-trust/" target="_blank">award-winning documentary</a> tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/public-lands" target="_self">public lands</a>. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bears-ears" target="_self">Bears Ears</a> National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/Arctic-National-Wildlife-Refuge" target="_self">Arctic National Wildlife Refuge</a> to fossil fuel exploration.</p><p><em>Public Trust</em> was directed by David Garrett Byars and produced by Jeremy Rubingh. Patagonia Films, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and actor Robert Redford are executive producers. It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.</p><p>"Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness set aside for future generations," Redford said. "Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. <em>Public Trust</em> tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage."</p>
3. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="156438a30836a765d7a92982545fc334"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_OFZvAd05Y?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Oct. 4</strong></p><p>Beloved nature broadcaster <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/David-Attenborough" target="_self">David Attenborough</a> has spent his career introducing viewers to the wonders of our planet. In recent years, his footage of albatrosses swallowing <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastics" target="_self">plastic</a> in <em>Blue Planet II</em> has been credited with <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html" target="_self">helping to ramp up</a> the global fight against plastic pollution. Now, in this <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF)-produced <a href="https://www.attenborough.film/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">documentary</a>, he reflects on the defining moments of his career and the devastating changes he has witnessed.</p><p><em>David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,</em> which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28.</p><p>"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/david-attenborough-life-our-planet" target="_blank">statement</a>. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."</p>
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If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.
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