Cleaning the oily goo off pelicans and other Gulf Coast birds may make workers feel good, but it's a waste of time and money that would be better spent on bigger environmental or wildlife preservation projects, critics say. "Once they've gone through that much stress, particularly with all the human handling and confinement, it's very difficult," said environmental and human health professor Ron Kendall. "Some species might tolerate it better than others, but when you compare the benefits to the costs ... I am skeptical."

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