Latest Blog Posts

Five Days in Toad Mode

In early July, members of our Management Team responded to the Los Gatos Creek Incident in Coalinga. Field teams collected 94 oil-impacted Western Toads and 1 Western Spadefoot from the spill site across several days. The amphibians were transported up to UC Davis where staff washed, provided species-appropriate housing, and fed a diet of insects to the patients until their habitat was deemed clean and safe for their return. Of the 95 oiled toads collected, 94 survived and were released! 


Lifelong Learning (and Continuing Education)

As a veterinarian, a scientist, and honestly a human, I consider myself a lifelong learner. I believe in constantly asking questions, seeking answers, and asking myself, “how can I do better?” Not to mention, the California State Veterinary Medical Board thinks so too. Licensed veterinarians in the state of California are required to obtain 36 hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

Facilities with a Purpose: Member Highlight Taylor Spiliotis

As many of you know OWCN has an extensive network of member organizations as well as a network of purpose-built facilities. Each of these facilities were strategically placed throughout California to facilitate a rapid response in the event of an oil spill. Many of these facilities built at the turn of the millennium with our partners at OSPR, require constant upkeep to maintain functionality of the facilities systems.

A Fun (and Necessary) Day on the Water

It’s been a hot summer so far, and it is not over yet! Fortunately, several of us from the Management Team had the good fortune of spending a day on the water recently. A good excuse to get away from our desks, you might ask? Well, maybe…let me explain.


OWCN Town Hall Coming Soon..

Hello to the OWCN Network!

I can’t believe I am entering my 4th month with the with the OWCN! To say I am settling in is an understatement! I have had the pleasure of joining several working groups, committees AND of course joining in on the planning fun. With each passing week I continue to meet new people and connect some faces to names, and I couldn't be more thankful for each interaction. 

Learning, Unlearning and Sharing the Power

The OWCN is committed to ongoing excellence, education, and progress. As a part of our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA), we will be interviewing figures from our community and Network who are leading DEIA efforts in their organizations and presenting those interviews here, in the OWCN blog, to serve as inspiration for others.

Here’s the next in the series: Learning, Unlearning & Sharing the Power

We're Hiring!

Do you love field work and wildlife response? Does the idea of being one of the first responders out the door to  rescue oil-affected wildlife sound like a thrill? If so, we hope you will consider joining our team at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network! The OWCN has an opening for a Wildlife Operations Specialist. This position is based in Davis, California, but statewide travel is part of the job. 

Checking in on the Beavers

One of the big questions in oil spill response is what happens to rehabilitated animals after they are released? Do they survive? Do they go back to their normal habitats and behaviors?

EROS Training 2023: On water oil recovery

As many of you already know I joined the OWCN management team back in June of 2022. Since joining OWCN I have spent my time attending trainings/drills, developing SOPs, maintaining equipment, and even responding to my first oil spill, but all this has mostly related to how we as OWCN respond when there is oiled affected wildlife. So how about oil spill response on a grander scale? It can be easy to get “tunnel vision” within our respected disciplines but I am constantly reminded that there are a lot more moving parts to oil spill response than just the wildlife portion. 

A New Perspective!

Greetings to the OWCN Network. My name is Frankie Lill, to some of you I am a familiar face, and to most I am the newest member of the OWCN Management Team! I will be working with Danene as a Wildlife Planning Specialist.  Although I am new to Davis and the OWCN MGMT Team, I have served as an OWCN volunteer for the last several years. Since then, I have been activated once for an oil spill, Pipeline 00547, and I have participated in recent UMEs out of LA, including a few grebe incidents, the Pelicans and the Elegant Tern response which was quite literally in the Aquarium’s Harbor.

Welcoming a New Team Member

As many of you are aware, Scott Buhl migrated from the OWCN to the California Veterinary Emergency Team last year. Given the numerous spill responses the OWCN was activated for over the winter it’s taken us a little bit of extra time to replace that position. 

That said, we are thrilled to announce the newest member of the OWCN Management Team, Wildlife Planning Specialist, Frankie Lill.

Save the Date!


Hello OWCN Response Community! We are excited to share that our 2023 training and engagement calendar is live.


Although we’re getting a bit of a later start this year due to many spills to start the New Year, we promise to offer many exciting training and engagement opportunities, including some new offerings. As you view the calendar, please take note that some of our events are in person and some are being held on a virtual platform.


Don't Forget to Celebrate

As a part of our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA), we will be interviewing figures from our community and Network who are leading DEIA efforts in their organizations and presenting those interviews here, in the OWCN blog, to serve as inspiration for others.

Our first interview in this series was with Nicole Cropper, the newly-appointed Deputy Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

This first piece is called, “Don’t Forget to Celebrate”.

An OWCN response through the eyes of new responders

Our blog has covered various OWCN Management Team perspectives on last year's Tanzanite Park spill response. Now it is time to hear from responders from some of our OWCN Member Organizations. We asked Megan from Sonoma Wildlife Rescue and Mackenzie from International Bird Rescue to share some of their experiences during the Tanzanite Park response. As experienced wildlife caregivers, but brand new OWCN responders, we think their stories offer a unique perspective into what it's like to respond to an oil spill as part of the OWCN. 

'Tis the Season...for IOA's

When many of us think about oiled wildlife, our minds immediately jump to the worst – a massive oil spill on the coast with hundreds of seabirds washed up on the beach, or the inland spills of late – Tanzanite Park, Toro Canyon, Cuyama. But, did you know that the Oiled Wildlife Care Network supports our member organizations in caring for hundreds of individually oiled animals each year? In fact, since Refugio, our individually oiled patients have far outnumbered our spill patients