Monday, May 10, 2010

Volunteer Training Opportunities

Volunteer Training Opportunities to Help Protect
Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve from the Threat of Oil Spills

Tampa Bay Watch, in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve program, have trained volunteers over the last ten years in environmental and health impacts of oil, safety precautions and boom deployment in the event of an oil spill. Currently, program partners maintain 6,000+ feet of boom at Cockroach Bay that will be deployed if needed to protect the Aquatic Preserve.

Training programs for community volunteers interested in supporting the pre-positioning effort if needed are planned as follows (Reservations are required by Tuesday, May 11):

Cockroach Bay Response Planning
Indoor training session: Oil boom handling techniques, hazards of oil spills and exposures at the Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center, 3000 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, FL 33715 - May 12th @ 6:00 p.m. (Register online.)

Cockroach Bay Response Field Exercise
Hands-on boom handling and deployment, field requirements at Cockroach Bay Boat Ramp, Cockroach Bay Road, Hillsborough County - May 13, start time 5:30 through 7:30 p.m. (Register online.)

Due to the large amount of interest in the program, community volunteers will need to pre-register at the Tampa Bay Watch website. Volunteers for the oil boom pre-positioning program will be selected to participate based on training and experience. Oil booms will be deployed utilizing a corps of trained community volunteers. These dedicated individuals will receive training in oil spill response and boom deployment, and will need to acquire training in First Aid and CPR. The volunteers will learn how to deploy, monitor and maintain the boom in the event of a spill. There is a need for volunteer boat captains with a good knowledge of the Cockroach Bay/Little Manatee River area. There will also be opportunities to work on shore, and to crew on boats. Click here to register online.

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