Hazardous Waste Response Training for Wildlife Rescuers to Take Place at Texas State Aquarium

June 19, 2018

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – A group of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions will come together at the Texas State Aquarium on June 19 and 20 for a training workshop for wildlife rescuers responding to hazardous waste incidents. HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) is an OSHA course with specific standards for worker safety. HAZWOPER certification is required for any individual entering areas affected by hazardous waste, such as oil spill sites.

By completing HAZWOPER certification, the Aquarium will become the Coastal Bend’s foremost wildlife rescuer for hazardous waste incidents, armed with the training and resources to quickly mobilize and assist in oil spill animal response and recovery.

Media are invited to attend a live-action drill for on June 20  from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. where participants will simulate a coordinated oiled wildlife response.

“Our Wildlife Rescue center has treated more than 4,000 animals over the years, including injured and ill sea turtles, shorebirds, marine mammals and shorebirds, and with HAZWOPER certification, we’ll have the additional expertise and qualifications to help even more wildlife in need,” said Jesse Gilbert, TSA’s Senior VP and COO. “While our local oil industry has a tremendous safety record, we want to be prepared to respond should a worst-case scenario ever occur.”

The workshop will be administered by the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) and will have representatives from TSA, Sea World San Antonio, San Antonio Zoo and Moody Gardens present.

TSA along with these institutions will join a nationwide network of AZA zoos and aquariums that are equipped with the training to respond to environmental disasters in their communities and across the country. AZA members are uniquely qualified to respond to oil spills and other incidents, because these institutions have a staff with a wealth of animal care knowledge including husbandry, animal handling and medical care. AZA facilities are also located across the nation, allowing for rapid local or national deployment in the event of an emergency.

To learn more about zoo and aquariums’ role in mobilizing emergency responders for natural and un-natural disasters, visit www.aza.org/zahp. To learn more about the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue Center, visit www.texasstateaquarium.org/rescue.

What: Photo/video opportunity: Training drill for wildlife rescue response in the event of hazardous waste incident

When: Wednesday, June 20 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Rescue Center, 4230 Rincon Rd., Corpus Christi, TX 78402.


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