Nonprofit Newswire | Operation Noah’s Ark and 50,000 Fiddler Crabs

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August 3, 2010; Source: Chicago Sun Times | Jack Rudloe hopes to save sea life threatened by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by taking a page from the Bible. Rudloe, a biologist who runs a nonprofit marine laboratory south of Talahassee, has started Operation Noah’s Ark, a project that aims to provide a new home for some 350 creatures from the sea.

Unlike his biblical counterpart, however, the Associated Press says he’s not limiting his rescue efforts to just two of each of the inhabitants of the Gulf. He’s trying to preserve as many as he can. For instance, so far he’s preserved some 50,000 fiddler crabs. Rudloe’s facility duplicates conditions that these sea creatures need to live, including grasslands and high and low tides. “We have to get as many animals in there as we can and then if the conditions permit, be able to put some of them back and get some things started.”

Still, Rudloe’s efforts come at a high price. He estimates the total outlay could reach $1.2 million. Rudloe, who says he’s “bleeding green,” is hopeful BP will underwrite some of his costs, but so far the oil company hasn’t committed any money. For now, Rudloe is getting by on money his facility gets from admission fees, memberships and donations.—Bruce Trachtenberg