Healthcare for California Wildlife and World's Marine Life


Mira Sorvino and family watch red-shouldered hawk release after "public option" rehab. Photo by Gayle Uyehara

Every week private oceanside homes, from Laguna to Malibu, host star-studded annual fundraising galas. Last Sunday Mira Sorvino, Pam Anderson and Ed Begley, Jr. graced Gulls Way Estate to support healthcare for California wildlife. This week it’s Glenn Close and Morgan Freeman gathering the glitterati at Villa De Sogni to fork over donations for Oceana. While town hall rabble-rousers fake concern over healthcare, who takes the tuna and terns to the vet? Tomorrow, Close and Freeman will be honored at a SeaChange event to benefit Oceana, Ted Danson’s baby. These celebs have clout and up the ante with donations for the cause. True, tireless volunteers are the worker bees, but it’s the hoi polloi who bring in big bucks for the Prius and other lux goods for auction.

Close narrated the US version of Home, the Yann Arthus-Bertrand film (worth downloading for its beauty and big picture on the environment). She also writes a blog for Fetchdog and supports Puppies Behind Bars, a prison initiative. Freeman, is co-founder of PLAN!T NOW, a non-profit focused on hurricane relief and preparedness (just in time for Bill barreling toward the East Coast) and did the voice-over for the March of the Penguins.

Oceana works on protecting the world’s oceans, from declining fisheries, marine habitat destruction, pollution, and seafood contamination. The org’s Ranger set sail for a Canary Islands project. Last year board member Sam Waterston and Conservation International board member Harrison Ford got the nod. The all-star committee rustling up donations includes Jeff Goldblum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Ron Howard, Sting and Styler, Robert Redford, and Paul Hawken.

At the 11th annual Wild Brunch for the California Wildlife Center, committee members Ed Begley, Jr., Pam Anderson and Mira Sorvino with husband Chris Backus and kids joined a few hundred guests on behalf of wildlife rescue efforts. Providing medical care for over 2100 species this past year, the center rehabilitated herons, seals, loons, lizards, owl, deer, and pelican, as well as bats, rats and coyote.

CWC vets and volunteers assist sick, injured, orphaned, and gunshot wildlife before releasing them back to nature. In January they offered healthcare to a dozen pelicans suffering from a rash of feet ailments including vasculitis, contusions, and ecchymosis, due to polluted beaches. Besides development encroaching on animal habitat, plastic debris in the ocean puts marine life at risk.

Other friends of the cause include Bill Maher, Cindy Crawford, HBO, Axl Rose, and Mickey Rourke. Former game show host Bob Barker has funded a new $43,000 aviary for the many birds being treated. And with the generous donations of goods, from pet gift baskets to Bali vacations, services, Malibu wineries, and local eateries the monies raised will go directly to running the clinic. Now for the humans...

More on protecting marine life:
California's Marine Life Protection Act in Action: A Sheltered Sea
A Primer on Global Warming-Caused Marine Dead Zones
Oceans of Change: Protecting the Planet's Life Support System

Tags: Animals | Blue August | California | Celebrities | Charities | Oceans | Pollution