Wednesday’s Noozhawk showed a photo by John Rousseau of a badly oiled bird on a local beach. Recently, EdHat, the other electronic newsletter, featured a similar beach photo of an oiled bird along with the statement that contrary to common belief, the oil did not come from “big bad oil,” that it was actually from nature itself oozing up from one of our coastline’s infamous oil seeps.

Although not often publicized, this same sad scenario takes place every day on beaches from San Francisco to Long Beach. Obtainable data from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in Long Beach suggests that this natural phenomenon may be responsible for thousands of oiled birds each year.

I consider myself a true but practical environmentalist with a particular concern for sea birds, and like many of my caring friends, I am troubled.

My question is, why isn’t anyone addressing this alarming and ongoing source of bird suffering? There must be something more than just having washing stations and collecting data that we can do. Why can’t all of this be prevented in the first place?

Is the information that “once the pressure, which causes the seeps, goes away, the seeps would stop” all untrue? Where is the Audubon Club? Where is the Sierra Club? Where are the other organizations who call themselves protectors of helpless and often endangered species?

Are we all just asleep at the wheel?

William Ulysses Bosart