Oil Spill in the SF Bay: How You Can Help

Environment, News Add comments
Posted by Tim Miller 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.)

4 Responses to “Oil Spill in the SF Bay: How You Can Help”

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