SF Bay Oil Spill: News Roundup

Environment, News 3 Comments »
Posted by at 8:40 am

Aftermath of Spill
Graphic from this morning’s SF Chronicle showing 23 parks and beaches around the SF Bay are closed.

How to help wildlife affected by oil spill in SF Bay
San Jose Mercury News The sight of oil-coated birds has sparked a passionate response from the public: How can I help? But wildlife experts are urging people to stay away from oil-covered birds along the San Francisco Bay coast…

“We rely on professional staff early on, then will call for volunteers in the middle and later in cleanup,” said Yvonne Addassi, an environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Game.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to help with the cleanup, report oil-soaked wildlife, or to donate.

VOLUNTEER WORKSHOPS: The Department of Fish and Game encourages future volunteers to attend a class about wildlife care at one of three locations today.

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium 9:30-11:30 a.m., 99 Grove St. in San Francisco.

Harbor Master, Richmond Marina 1:30-3:30 p.m., 1340 Marina Way South in Richmond.

Headlands Institute 5-7 p.m., Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Building 1033, in Sausalito.

Clean-up expands for San Francisco Bay oil spill
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Clean-up efforts for a 58,000-gallon (220,000-liter) oil spill in San Francisco Bay expanded on Sunday as federal officials assessed damage that has closed beaches, threatened the crabbing season and killed scores of birds.

Human Error Blamed for SF Bay Oil Spill (yotube video)
Ship’s crew questioned in criminal probe of SF Bay oil spill (AP via KESQ)

Federal Criminal Investigation Opens Into 58000 Oil Spill In San Francisco Bay
Democracy Now, NY – A federal criminal investigation has been opened into a 58,000-gallon spill of heavy bunker fuel into the San Francisco Bay. The spill took place when a container ship slammed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Wednesday.

The oil spill has shut down over a dozen beaches and killed at least 60 birds. Ecologists warn that it could take months to clean up and that it threatens the Bay’s diverse ecosystem, including several endangered species. We speak to Sejal Choksi, Program Director at San Francisco Baykeeper.

Impact of SF Bay Oil Spill Widens (youtube video)
This video from a few days ago gives a pretty good overview of how the accident happened and what is known about the impact on local wildlife so far.

Oil Spill in the SF Bay: How You Can Help

Environment, News 4 Comments »
Posted by at 9:01 am

bird covered in oil

The oil spill in San Francisco bay this week has spread from the Bay Bridge to Angel Island and has now reached all the way out to the Farallon Islands.

Dozens of dead and injured birds already have been found around the region, and hundreds more are likely to be spotted before the oil slick is mopped up, officials said.

By late afternoon Thursday, the oil had hit the Farallon Islands, and researchers spotted 20 oiled common murres. At nesting time, in late winter, the Farallones are home to 200,000 common murres, the largest colony south of Alaska, and the seabirds already are starting to arrive.

“This is going to be a mess. We’ll see how big a mess,” said Cheryl Strong, a biologist at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The islands are part of the refuge.

Oil washing up on the beaches in San Francisco, Berkeley, Albany, Novato and along the Pacific coast is covering prime feeding grounds for the dozens of species of shorebirds that forage on the edges of the bay. The disaster will remain a deadly threat for months and perhaps years to come, biologists said.

Fish will die if they eat the oil in the water or it gets in their gills, said biologists with state Fish and Game Department.

You can read more about the spill on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website here.

Update: Forum ran a radio show discussing the San Francisco Bay Oil Spill — Economic Indicators which contains some good information on the impact on birds and other wildlife as well as the bay area as whole. You can find a link to the podcast here.

You can find out how to help with the cleanup and rescue effort here:

Volunteers: The environmental group Baykeeper is soliciting volunteers at www.baykeeper.org.

More info: More information on how to volunteer eventually will be posted online by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at www.owcn.org.

Oil slicks: Help track the spill by reporting oil slicks. Call (985) 781-0804.

Wildlife: Report oiled wildlife at (877) 823-6926. (Do not call this number to volunteer.)

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