About us


Our Team


Tri-State team members at the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010

We are a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to oiled wildlife preparedness, training, and response. Our Response Team is on-call 24/7/365. In addition to full-time staff, the team includes wildlife veterinarians, trained volunteers, and other professionals. As one of two dedicated programs at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, we have access to the latest and safest medical treatments and protocols.

Our team has responded to hundreds of incidents from Canada, the Caribbean, and beyond. We are routinely contracted across the United States and the world to educate other organizations on proper oiled wildlife treatments.

Oiled wildlife services are provided on a contract basis. For more information on the rehabilitation center at Tri-State, visit www.tristatebird.org

Our mission:

The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is to achieve excellence in the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned and oiled native wild birds with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment. We do this through compassionate care, humane research, and education.
Tri-State’s Oiled Wildlife Response Team strives to reduce the impact of oil and other contaminants on wildlife and to provide rapid response, effective treatment, and humane care for animals that become contaminated wherever needed, practical, and feasible on a global basis.



Why Tri-State


We are on call and response-ready 24 hours a day, every day.

We have extensive experience working with organizations, agencies, and industry partners across many fields to ensure a safe and effective wildlife response. In addition, our senior staff has extensive experience working within the Incident Command System.

In addition to our federal permit with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tri-State maintains wildlife rehabilitation permits in many U.S. states and territories as well as in Canada.

We are one of few organizations in the United States that is trained, equipped, and on-call to lead an oiled wildlife response effort. In addition to maintaining our safety training and equipment, we have a dedicated facility to rehabilitating and decontaminating animals for a large-scale response.


Since 1976, we have responded to hundreds of incidents nationally and around the world. Tri-State helped found the Effects of Oil on Wildlife conference and continues to present at and attend conferences around the world.

Staff and Core Response Team members have an average of 8 years of experience and have a diverse skill set including veterinary medicine, emergency response management, and volunteer management. We are trained and equipped to give the best possible care to a single contaminated animal or hundreds.


All staff and core team members have HAZWOPER and ICS training appropriate to their role in a response. Personnel and patient safety are top priorities in all aspects of a response effort. We have a long history of, and a reputation for, conducting all our efforts in a safe, humane, and professional manner.


Response Management

Senior staff members have completed a minimum of 40 hours of HAZWOPER training in compliance with 29CFR1900.120 and maintain their training with an annual 8-hour refresher. Each staff member has completed a level of ICS training appropriate to his or her position during a response (IS 100, 200, 700, 800, and 300 & 400.)

To respond to the dynamic nature of response efforts, we maintain different levels of staff and volunteer resources that allow us to expand or contract the team as necessary. All Core Team and extended team members have safety training appropriate to their roles in a response.

Tri-State was the lead responder in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill and has extensive experience working with agencies, organizations, and pertinent stakeholders around the world.

Volunteer Management

When volunteers are appropriate for a response effort, we are able to provide safety training to qualified persons that will enable them to work under direct supervision of our team.
Training workshops meet all requirements set by state and federal OSHA, the site safety officer, and any other response-specific requirements.


Tri-State has led the way in the humane, safe, and effective treatment of oiled wildlife for more than 40 years. Our team has helped hundreds of governments, agencies, organizations, industries, and individuals become better prepared for oiled wildlife incidents.

Our team has experience in a wide variety of spill situations, including coastal spills, inland spills, and natural disasters. We draw from different disciplines to be able to treat nearly any wild animal affected by an incident, including amphibians, mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Significant Responses:

Tri-State has led or joined over 170 responses since 1976. For a comprehensive list please email: oilprograms@tristatebird.org

2018 –Husky Energy Sea Rose Response
St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
Product: Sweet crude
Species: Thick-billed Murre, Great Black-backed Gull

2017 –NAS Oceana Jet Fuel Spill
Virginia Beach, VA
Product: JP 5
Species: Common Snapping Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle, American Bullfrog, Two-Toed Amphiuma, Rough Greensnake, Red-Jointed Fiddler Crab, Canada Goose, Mallard

2016 –Potomac River Pollution Response
Arlington, VA
Product: Fuel Oil
Species: Canada Goose, Mallard

2015 –Tire Plant Response
Bryan, OH
Product: Used Hydraulic Oil
Species: Mallard, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, American Black Duck, Muskrat

2014 -Oak Glen Nature Preserve Response
Cincinnati, OH
Product: Sweet crude
Species: Streamside Salamander, Two-lined Salamander, Jefferson Salamander, Red-backed Salamander, Green Frog, Spring Peeper Frog, American Toad, Crayfish

2013- Carroll Park Response
Thornwood, NY
Product: Home heating fuel
Species: Canada Goose, Mallard Duck

2012- Hurricane Sandy
Linden, NJ
Product: Slop oil
Species affected: Canada Goose, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Northern Shoveler, Mallard Duck, Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron, Snapping Turtle, Painted Turtle, Garter snake

2012- Underground storage tank diesel leak
Blackwood, NJ
Product: Diesel
Species: Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Red-bellied Turtle, Painted Turtle, Common Musk Turtle, Eastern River Cooter, Spotted Turtle, Muskrat, Beaver

2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Gulf of Mexico (LA, AL, MS, FL)
Product: Crude oil
Species: 2143 animals (over 55 species of birds & reptiles)

2004 Crude oil spill
Philadelphia, PA
Product: Crude oil
Species: Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-throated Loon, Gadwall, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Snow Goose, American Black Duck, Belted Kingfisher, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Gannet, Coot, Great Blue Heron, Bufflehead

2000 Erika Vessel sinking
Brittany, France
Product: 12,000 tonnes heavy fuel oil
Species: Common Murre, Razorbill, Northern Gannet, scoters, puffins, gannets, cormorants, loons, and other seabirds

1996 Sea Empress Vessel grounding and discharge
Milford Haven, Wales
Product: 18,000,000 forties crude oil
Species: Common Scoter, Guillemot, Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin, Red-throated Loon

1993 Vessel collision and oil spill
Tampa Bay, FL
Product #6 Fuel oil, jet fuel, phosphate
Retrieved: Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Loon, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green-Backed Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Parasitic Jaeger, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Common Tern, Black Skimmer, Gopher Tortoise, Loggerhead Turtle

Learn about the 13th International Effects of Oil on Wildlife Conference we’re hosting with Oiled Wildlife Care Network in Baltimore, MD this May!

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