Bird illustrations by 11-year old inspire giving for Gulf Coast disaster

 In Arts and Culture, Conservation, Environment, Philanthropy

Olivia Bouler, an 11-year old girl living in New York state, dreams of being an ornithologist when she grows up. Devastated by the BP Gulf Oil Spill, the largest oil spill in U.S. history, she was determined to help. Her talented illustrations of birds have now raised over $100,000 from donors giving to support wildlife recovery efforts.

Right now, she has 23,750 followers and counting on her Facebook page titled, “Save the Gulf: Olivia’s Bird Illustrations” and the attention of multiple media outlets. AOL made a $25,000 donation in her name and offered to host her portfolio of illustrations.

The donor involvement Olivia has catalyzed comes at a time when the full toll of the disaster’s impact on wildlife and people will require philanthropic dollars. According to a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article, donors gave $4-million during the first two months of the disaster. This is “far less than will ultimately be needed,” writes the Chronicle.

The Bay Area-based International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) is working with Tri-State Bird Rescue, the lead oiled wildlife organization on the ground, to set up and staff rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama Mississippi and Florida, where the growing oil slick is severely impacting birds. Although BP is paying for IBRRC’s wildlife rescue work, they welcome support for their ongoing programs and to cover the cost of future rescue efforts.

Oiled Brown Pelican upon intake May 20, 2010 at Fort Jackson, Louisiana Oiled Wildlife Center

Photo credit: IBRRC

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