BIRD ALLY X: Oil, LA, A New Website, and the Wonders of Travel

The only way I can begin with this amazing client, BIRD ALLY X, is a story. My family and I are on vacation in Los Angeles spending a day on a Malibu beach. Sounds pretty posh doesn’t it? Well, let me take a step back.

A couple of days before that, my family and I are on Venice Beach and we see a meandering line of black sludge on the beach and it takes us only a couple of minutes to realize that it is oil run ashore from the Santa Barbara, CA oil spill. Hardly anyone is on the beach, but not because of the oil spill, because it is freezing cold in June on the shore. The winds are gusting, the beach sand is flying, and few people want to go to the beach today because of it. Although, my daughter doesn’t care. She can enjoy the situation to it’s fullest because she is experiencing two of some of her most favorite things—sand and water. We avoid the trail of black sludge, not only because it is toxic, but also because I remember someone saying, “You can’t get the stuff off your skin”. I and my daughter missed the oil land mine that day but my wife landed her heel on the goo, and it took a lot of natural solutions and scrubbing to get it off, and her sandals were now garbage.

Back to the Malibu beach part of the story, a couple of days after the Venice Beach experience. I call my friend Laura Corsiglia to see if she is in Los Angeles (she told me previously she would be on assignment for Bird Ally X, in Santa Barbara, caring for birds effected by the oil spill), and she says she is in Santa Monica—in between us and Los Angeles (LA is where we were headed back to anyway). So, I say, “Let’s have lunch!”. We drive to Santa Monica and have a Mexican dinner with Laura, talking about old times, the times, and how hard she worked on caring for birds effected by the disaster.

A few months ago, my friends Laura Corsiglia and Monte Merrick also became clients. They asked me to redesign the website for Bird Ally X. Being a non-profit, they would not have been able to afford my services without a grant. I too donated a small portion of my time to make a really exciting site. They are the ideal client for me: laid-back, but passionate about what they do; having an artistic sense, but with the maturity to know that we also have to build a user friendly site; and, they are doing something important in the world. They are caring for animals that sadly run into human behavior and creations that are destructive to the environment. If you too care about birds and cleaning up the environment, please consider donating to Bird Ally X.