Category Archives: News

Drill Date Change to Oct 28th. If there is a large oil spill in San Juan County, would you have the skills to help?

Do you love to work on the water?

Would you like to learn how to protect a shoreline from oil?

Come learn the basics of oil spill response at an Islands’ Oil Spill Association (IOSA) training session!  

Saturday, October 28st, 2017, 10am to 3pm
San Juan Island

In this class you will learn many of the basic skills you will need when setting oil containment boom and using other equipment to protect a sensitive area in our islands.

Do you know what containment boom is?  How does it work to contain oil?  How do you deploy it?  Ever heard of a pelican hook? (It’s not used on pelicans!) What is oil snare (see below)?

Oil snare set up on beach during a drill.


For more information, contact IOSA at 360-468-3441 or

Preregistration required.



Oiled Wildlife Search & Rescue and Initial Care — RESCHEDULED — to May 21, 2017


May 21st, Sunday.
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, 11:30 am to 5:10 pm.

Free Training – go to bottom of page to preregister.

This class will give you the basics in oiled seabird search and rescue (including a practice session on the beach), oiled seabird initial care (using some of the 35 domesticated ducks we have here on Lopez), safety training relating to oiled seabird rescue and care, and a basic introduction to IOSA and where we fit in the oil spill response community.

When oil spills on the water, especially a thicker oil like crude oil or bunker fuel, it can get on the feathers of seabirds (these are birds that spend most of their time on or in the water and little time on land).  The oil coats the feathers, which then can’t interlock together and the birds are thus prevented from staying waterproof (sort of like a hole in a dry suit.  The cold water can then get to their skin and causes them to become hypothermic and come onto land to stay warmer.

The best we can do for these birds, once they get oiled, is to rescue them and bring them in for initial care.  During initial care we warm them up, flush the petroleum out of their system, give them fluids, and wipe off any oil that is blocking their nostrils or is in their mouth.

There are Wildlife Rehabilitation Mobile Response Units that are available to be set up within 24 hours in a warehouse on the mainland that has the needed electricity and water capabilities needed for longer term care.  Once the Mobile Response Units are set up, oiled birds can be sent there for ongoing treatment, stabilization, and washing.  When the birds are healthy again and have spent time in salt water pools, they are released into the wild.   Click here for more information on these Mobile Response Units.

To be able to help oiled wildlife in an oil spill, this training is needed along with additional Hazwoper Safety Training.  This training session focuses on the initial rescue and care before the birds are transported to the Mobile Response Units.

If you are interested in attending this training, please sign up below.  Preregistration is required.  We look forward to meeting you!



Wildlife Care Training

Thanks for Your Donations During the Fair!

During the San Juan County Fair many of you donated to help us with the matching grant from San Juan Island Community Foundation.  We came close to meeting our goal, raising $3, 125 so the San Juan Island Community Foundation (SJICF) will be matching that $3,125 with a 50% matching grant.  As well SJICF held a raffle for $1000 to be donated to the organization of the winner’s choice and one of our responders won and donated the money to IOSA.  The total earned, including some outside matching corporate grants is $6,287, which is very close to what we need to buy the new trailer.

We are now on our way to getting a much-needed new spill response trailer (similar to the one on the left in the above photo).   Thanks to everyone who donated!

This new supply trailer (10′ by 6′) will be stationed at our Roche Harbor storage site, to sit beside our trailer that holds 1,100′ of containment boom.  The new trailer will store all of the supplementary equipment we need for a spill response (such as anchors, sorbents, spill bags, boom lights and more).  This will enable us to respond quicker to oil spills in the area, as all the supplies will be right there, and do not have to be moved from some other part of the island.

Several of the equipment trailers we have stationed throughout the San Juans were donated to us (or sold for a good price) over the past 20+ years and are slowly but surely needing to be replaced.  Just last week, we had to retire the very first trailer we used to carry containment boom, acquired in 1990!

If you would like to help us raise money for the next response trailer we need or for any of our other projects, see our Support IOSA page.