oil The Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) has funded a new Port Communities Oil Spill Preparedness course facilitated by Los Angeles Waterkeeper.  Waterkeeper will also be coordinating with fellow grantee Community Outreach Promoting Emergency Preparedness (COPE Preparedness). The grant is in recognition of the inherent risks associated with the immense level of oil activities occurring largely in the Port of Los Angeles region.

Los Angeles County sees at least 50 million gallons of oil arriving on our shores each day. To put that into perspective, the Exxon Valdez spilled just over 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, causing devastation that still hasn’t fully recovered over 25 years later.

During the course, Waterkeeper and COPE Preparedness will seek to inform participants about ways for local communities to prepare for a large scale oil spill. This will include identifying the best sources of information, the authorities responsible for containment and clean-up of oil, and what the public should do if they spot oil.

The series of classes will include experts from the oil industry, Marymount California University, the Port of Los Angeles, U.S. EPA, California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), and International Bird Rescue. Participants will also be able to discuss the Gulf community’s experience following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper Paul Orr.

In addition to learning about oil activities in the Port of Los Angeles region and response plans for a large spill, participants will learn about unique ecosystems surrounding the Port.

Class participants will also get some hands-on experience. Waterkeeper will provide a water quality sampling training to empower the local community to help monitor oil pollution.

The classes are free and open to the public. Although the class is designed as a series, participants are welcome to attend as few or as many of the classes as they would like. Individuals interested in attending the free course must RSVP by emailing jeffrey@lawaterkeeper.org.

The first class is at 6:15pm-8:30pm on February 11th, 2015, at the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro.

Please see Waterkeeper’s website for the complete class schedule: https://lawaterkeeper.org/oil-spill-prevention-response/.




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