FAQ

fur seals

FAQ

What is the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN)?
The OWCN is the world's only oiled wildlife response organization boasting more than 40 different Member Organizations comprising world-class aquaria, universities, scientific organizations and rehabilitation groups. Established in 1994 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) in response to the Exxon Valdez in Alaska and the American Trader in Huntington Beach, the OWCN is administered by the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

When does the OWCN become active in oil spill response?
When wildlife impacts occur or seem imminent, the Incident or Unified Command activates the OWCN. Once activated the OWCN immediately mobilizes and manages the wildlife response effort as an agent for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

What is OWCN’s response range?
As of 2014, OWCN’s response range expanded from the marine area to statewide, including all California state surface waters.

How are oiled wildlife initially reported?
All reports of oiled wildlife are collected via our 24-hour hotline, 1-877-UCD-OWCN (823-6926)

When does the OWCN become active in oil spill response?
When wildlife impacts occur or seem imminent, the Incident or Unified Command activates the OWCN. Once activated the OWCN immediately mobilizes and manages the wildlife response effort as an agent for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

How is the OWCN funded?
As of July 2015, funding for the OWCN's ongoing operations (including staffing, facility maintenance, equipment & supply purchases, training costs, and research support) comes from OSPR’s Oil Spill Prevention Administrative Fund, which receives a small fee from every barrel of crude or refined oil received into California.

When the OWCN is activated for spill response, the party responsible for the spill is billed for the cost of the OWCN's response and rehabilitation efforts using a predetermined rate schedule. In the case where no responsible party is identified, the OWCN activities may be funded from the State’s Oil Spill Response Trust Fund (OSRTF). In situations where no oil spill is observed and the OWCN is not officially activated yet oiled birds or mammals are captured, the OWCN provides support to its Member Organizations to supplement the cost of caring for oil-affected animals.