Oiled Wildlife Care Network

photo: release of eared grebe during the Cosco Busan oil spill
Release of eared grebe during the Cosco Busan oil spill

Response History

Oil spills are a constant threat to California’s marine ecosystem. Since 1994, the OWCN has stood ready to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife injured by oil pollution events. What began as an outcry from the public over the impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill has grown into an internationally recognized cooperative of scientists, rehabilitators, and public volunteers.

The OWCN and its partners have continued to develope new technology and methods to capture and care for oiled wildlife. These innovations are tested and refined during both large and small spills so that with each disaster the OWCN uses cutting edge techniques to capture and rehabilitate oiled animals.

Not all spills in California affect wildlife, and not every spill requires a wildlife response. For example, in 2007, 8000 spills were reported, and the OWCN responded to seven. Below is a history of the OWCN responses in California. Scroll down for a history of the spill responses in which the OWCN has provided assistance outside of California.

Oil Spills in California



Andrews Logistics Spill Los Angeles September 2011
Tesoro Refinery Spill Long Beach September 2011
Fenwick Incident Westminster June 2011
Pt. Mugu Naval Station Plane Crash Pt. Mugu May 2011
Javon Canyon Spill Ventura March 2011
Long Beach Berth 84 Incident Long Beach February 2012
Dominguez Channel Spill San Pedro December 2010
Da Tang 18 Spill Long Beach November 2010
AES Spill Compton October 2010
Placentia Spill Placentia August 2010
Dubai Star Spill San Francisco Bay October 2009
Vintage La Habra Heights Spill Brea April 2009
Platform A Spill Santa Barbara December 2008
Allen Cody Spill Humboldt Bay September 2008
Pt. Mugu Mystery Pt. Mugu January 2008
M/V Cosco Busan San Francisco November 2007
Moss Landing Mystey Spill Santa Cruz November 2007
Tesoro Surge Pond Martinez October 2007
San Leandro Olive Oil Spill San Leandro July 2007
Ventura Mystery Event Ventura March 2007
Vulcan Durbin Quarry Spill Arcadia January 2007
Crescent City Response Crescent City January 2007
Guadalupe River San Jose December 2006
Eureka Mystery Spill Eureka November 2006
Moss Landing Diesel Spill Moss Landing November 2006
San Diego Diesel Spill San Diego November 2006
Malibu Phoenix Malibu June 2006
Vallejo Truck Spill Vallejo June 2006
Ventura Mystery Event Ventura April 2006
Lodi Ashphalt Spill Lodi March 2006
Richmond Santa FE spill Santa Fe March 2006
SS Palo Alto Seacliff State Beach September 2005
Westin Hotel Spill Los Angeles August 2005
Pacific Pipelines/Pyramid Lake Los Angeles March 2005
Oakland Estuary Oakland February 2005
Ventura Oiled Bird Incident Ventura January 2005
San Diego Mystery San Diego October 2004
Kinder Morgan Pipeline Suisun Marsh April 2004
Dreamland/Ventura Ventura November 2003
Ballona Creek/Univision Los Angeles October 2003
Dog Beach/Huntington Beach Mystery Spill Huntington Beach January 2003
Monterey Mystery Spill Monterey December 2003
Vegetable Oil Mystery Spill San Francisco December 2002
Livermore Diesel Livermore June 2002
Santa Barbara/Central Coast Mystery Spill Santa Barbara January 2002
Placentia Creek Spill Placentia December 2001
San Mateo Mystery Spill/Luckenbach Pt. Reyes- Monterey November 2001
Santa Barbara Mystery Spill Santa Barbara November 2001
Santa Barbara/Phillipa Spill Santa Barbara September 2001
Port Hueneme Spill Oxnard April 2001
Malibu Mystery Spill Malibu February 2001
Domiguez Channel Spill Huntington Beach January 2001
Equilon Spill Long Beach January 2001
Tasco Spill Los Angeles October 2000
Trona Spill Trona June 2000
Red Rock Spill/ Pt. Molate Richmond May 2000
Hunter's Point Power Plant San Francisco March 2000
Malibu Mystery Spill Malibu February 2000
Santa Paula Creek Santa Paul February 2000
Platform Elly/Aera Energy Huntington Beach November 1999
Stockdale Spill Bakersfield October 1999
Ballona Creek Spill Los Angeles October 1999
M/V Stuyvesant Humboldt Spill Eureka September 1999
Calloway Canal Spill Bakersfield June 1999
Pemex/Rosarito Spill Mexico May 1999
Golden West Spill Huntington Beach February 1999
College Park Spill Huntington Beach January 1999
El Segundo Refinery Spill El Segundo December 1998
Wintersburg Channel Spill/Bolsa Chica Huntington Beach December 1998
T/V Command South Traffic Lane Spill San Mateo September 1998
Vaya Con Dios Pacifica June 1998
Santa Barbara/Summerland Mystery Spill Toro Canyon February 1998
Carson Spill Carson January 1998
Pt. Reyes Mystery Spill #2 Pt. Reyes December 1997
El Estero Spill Santa Barbara December 1997
Kure Humboldt Oil Spill Eureka November 1997
Pt. Reyes Mystery Spill #1 Pt. Reyes November 1997
Santa Cruz/Monterey Mystery Spill Santa Cruz October 1997
Torch/Platform Irene Spill Lompoc September 1997
Penitentia Creek Spill Milpitas July 1997
Ballona Creek Spill Long Beach January 1997
ARCO Spring Spill/Clark Pipeline Huntington Beach October 1996
Cape Mohican Spill San Francisco Bay October 1996
Big Kahuna Spill San Diego August 1996
Esco Rubber Co. Brea April 1996
Evergreen Newark March 1996
San Diego Yacht Club Spill San Diego March 1996
Back Bay Spill Newport Beach November 1995

Oil Spills Outside  California



M/V Rena Bay of Plenty, New Zealand September 2011
Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico April 2010
Murphy Spill Louisiana September 2005
Prestige Galicia, Spain November 2002
Rosarito Oil Spill Rosarito, Mexico May 1999
Nakhodka Sea of Japan January 1997