A Louisiana firm -- Pevey Construction LLC, of Ponchatoula -- has been selected to retrofit an existing building in Hammond, La., to become the new bird rehabilitation facility for the Unified Command's response efforts related to April's calamitous Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Work began on Monday, July 4, 2010, and major projects are expected to be completed in two to three weeks.
The Hammond bird rehabilitation facility, located in Tangipahoa Parish, will replace the Fort Jackson bird rehabilitation facility, in Plaquemines Parish. Hammond is outside of the three-phase hurricane evacuation zones, thereby minimizing the possibility of evacuations during the 2010 hurricane season -- which is already underway. All efforts are being made to complete the move to the Hammond facility before a hurricane requires an evacuation.
The new facility measures 30,000 square feet, and has the capacity to care for approximately 2,000 birds. It is located on an eight-acre campus with existing buildings in a quiet, nonresidential area.
The Fort Jackson facility in Buras, La., has more than met the needs of the Deepwater Horizon response efforts and the wildlife that has come into its care. That facility is located along the coast in a Category 1 hurricane evacuation zone, and could be subject to evacuation and damage from tropical storms or hurricanes. Plaquemines Parish will continue to be an important location for receiving, stabilizing, and transporting animals from impacted areas.
"The wildlife branch is grateful to Plaquemines Parish officials and residents for their assistance, and we appreciate their continued support as we move to a long-term facility outside of the hurricane evacuation area," said Rhonda Murgatroyd, owner and executive manager of Wildlife Response Services LLC, and BP's wildlife branch director. "We thank everyone in Plaquemines Parish and look forward to their continued assistance with the transportation and stabilization efforts."
While the Hammond bird rehab facility is not equipped to accept walk-in volunteers, those who wish to donate their time and expertise during the Deepwater Horizon response efforts can find opportunities online:
* Alabama: http://www.servealabama.gov/2010/default.aspx
* Florida: http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/
* Louisiana: http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/
* Mississippi: http://www.volunteermississippi.org/1800Vol/OpenIndexAction.do
Key Contact Numbers
* Report oiled shoreline, or request volunteer information:  448-5816
* Submit alternative response technology, services or products:  366-5511
* Submit your vessel for BP's Vessels of Opportunity program:  279-7983 or  847-7470
* Submit a claim for damages:  440-0858
* Report oiled wildlife:  557-1401
For Additional Information...
* Download NOAA's "Hurricane Basics" handbook: http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/pdf/hurricanebook.pdf.
* Track developments in the federal government's inter-agency Deepwater Response Incident: http://www.restorethegulf.gov/.
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