Oiled Wildlife Care Network

Mother grebe with babies

Oiled Wildlife Care Network

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) is a statewide collective of trained wildlife care providers, regulatory agencies, academic institutions and wildlife organizations working to rescue and rehabilitate oiled wildlife in California.

The OWCN—a key program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center—is an organization that provides regional, national, and international readiness and response activities to oil spills. Founded in 1994, the OWCN was established in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife – Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) as a reaction to the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound and the American Trader spill in Huntington Beach. Our founding vision was to make California the most proactive region in the world for oiled wildlife response.

Today, with both inland and marine capabilities, more than 40 member organizations, a cadre of more that 1,300 trained responders, and specialized equipment and facilities throughout California, the OWCN is an outstanding example of what's possible when diverse institutions and organizations work collaboratively toward a common goal. To date, the OWCN has led more than 75 spills throughout California and cared for more than 10,000 oiled birds, mammals, reptiles/amphibians. We have also provided essential support nationally and internationally for large-scale emergencies—the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the M/V Rena spill in New Zealand, and the Prestige spill in Spain are three examples of such efforts.

For more information about the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, visit their website.