Oiled Sea Otter Rehabilitation Course

Geographical Considerations

The release strategy selected following an oil spill will depend on the geographic location and severity of the spill. For example, after the EVOS, the western portion of Prince William Sound was so heavily oiled that release of sea otters into this area was not considered. Along the Kenai Peninsula, oiled and unoiled areas formed an irregular mosaic, allowing the release of some sea otters into clean bays relatively close to those in which they were captured. This strategy allowed sea otters to be released into areas presumably familiar to them. However, it did not prevent the otters from reentering contaminated areas. If habitats on the Kenai Peninsula had been more heavily affected by oil, it would have been necessary to release the otters elsewhere, resulting in potentially greater relocation-related stress and detrimental effects.