Ellen DeGeneres Shows Her Animal Instincts and With Environmental Campaign

By (BI) Susanna Daniel

NEW YORK -- Ellen DeGeneres is many things -- comedienne, talk show host, producer, humanitarian.

Now she'll add seal to her long list of credits as she helps launch the Dawn Saves Wildlife program and its Web site .

This year the Dawn Saves Wildlife campaign has set a goal of educating 1 million people about the importance of saving aquatic wildlife by educating them about simple actions they can take to decrease the amount of oil they put into the environment. Ellen's involvement will include a presence on the Web site where she will encourage people to join her virtual flock, an online community of animals where Ellen will be represented by a seal.

"I love animals. In fact, if I wasn't a talk show host, I have always said that I would be a veterinarian. That's why I am so happy to be a part of the Dawn Saves Wildlife program," said DeGeneres. "The program's main goal is to raise awareness about the devastating effects that our everyday behaviors can have on aquatic wildlife. By going to and joining my flock, you too can make a difference in the lives of thousands of animals each year."

Did you know that 29 million gallons of oil make it into North America's ocean waters each year and, of that amount, 24 million are caused by activities that humans do daily; not big oil tanker spills?--For example, disposing of cooking oil down drains, topping off your gas at the pump and not maintaining your car and boat can all lead to excessive oil getting into waterways and harming or killing aquatic wildlife.

This year Dawn dishwashing liquid will build on its more than 25-year heritage of helping wildlife rescuers save aquatic animals affected by oil spills by launching the Dawn Saves Wildlife campaign in October. The campaign's main goal is to educate people about the simple changes they can make in their daily lives to help save wildlife.

The program also includes partnerships with the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) and The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), enabling these rescue facilities to go beyond animal clean-up. IBRRC and TMMC will be able to create better rehabilitation programs, supply vehicles to transport hurt and rehabilitated animals, and provide the resources needed to create a better future for our aquatic wildlife.

"It all started by cleaning ducks and birds," said Anna Burdick, External Relations Manager for Dawn. "Through our experience saving birds' lives, we saw the opportunity to help many more animals and expand our campaign to include prevention efforts. We realized we could achieve this by helping to change people's behaviors, thus making an even greater difference in the environment."

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