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Hawk Mountain to present Gulf oil disaster multi-media program

Published October 12. 2010 05:00PM

Wildlife photographer Shawn Carey will present the multi-media program Scenes from the Gulf Oil Disaster at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, on Saturday, October 23.

The presentation is part of the Sanctuary's Autumn Lecture Series and will begin at 5 p.m. inside the Visitor Center.

Scenes from the Gulf Oil Disaster is open to the public, but seating is limited so visitors are encouraged to arrive early.

A select number of reserved seats will be held for those who call (610) 756-6961 in advance and can arrive by 4:30 pm on the day of the lecture.

Carey is a long-time professional bird and wildlife photographer who will share his personal accounts, images and video from investigative trips he made to Louisiana in the wake of the largest oil disaster in United States history.

His talk will examine the effects of the oil on the region and its wildlife, and his alarming observations regarding clean up.

"The whole purpose was to document what really was happening and then share it with people who can't travel to Louisiana," Carey said. Upon his return, Carey created his presentation and now adamantly opposes any reference to the phrase "oil spill.

"When you are six years old, you might spill your milk. BP did not spill 200,000,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf," Carey explained. "This is no spill. It's a disaster."

Together with fellow wildlife photographer Alex Couter, Carey chartered both a boat and a plane, and conducted personal interviews with locals including fisherman and state park officials.

The footage captured includes video from two of the largest Brown Pelican colonies in Louisiana, images from the ravaged Grand Isle State Park and the oil soaked shorelines of small islands and aerials of the marsh to Raccoon Island.

During his last visit in early September, Carey was disturbed to find oil still visible in many locations, and saturated through the marsh grass.

"Based on what I've observed, BP is cutting back the clean-up force, even though there are very large areas that still need help. On Grand Isle in particular, there are tar balls as far as you can see," he said.

Following the presentation Carey will host a question and answer period with assistance from Drew Wheelan, the Gulf Coast Conservation Coordinator for the American Birding Association.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve birds of prey worldwide by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education and by maintaining Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a model observation, research and education facility.

For more information on Hawk Mountain, for links to Shawn Carey's own website, or to learn about visiting or membership, call (610) 756-6961 or visit

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