Cosco Busan Oil Spill Information

UPDATE: Nov 13, 2007, 5pm:In a email newsletter, the Audobon Canyon Ranch, which is located right on the Bolinas Lagoon, notes: “despite news reports and our worst fears, indications to-date are that very little oil has reached the Bolinas Lagoon, and the threat to the Lagoon is abating.” 

UPDATE: Nov 12, 2007, 9pm: The MarinIJ reports that most of the Point Reyes Peninsula was spared oil as winds and tides start to blow the oil back south.  This means the beaches closer to the headlands may be resoiled.  I spent a few hours on at North Beach today and all was normal (and beautiful) there.

UPDATE: Nov 11, 2007, 9pm: Reports that oiled bird have been spotted as far north as Drakes Beach.  RCA Beach and Palomarin Beach (both in the southern tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula) have been closed to the public as a precaution.

UPDATE: Nov 11, 2007, 1am: An inspirational story in the San Francisco Chronicle: On their own: In Bolinas, residents struggle to keep fragile lagoon safe. A quick excerpt:

The residents of Stinson Beach and Bolinas banded together Saturday with volunteer firefighters, local fishermen and county workers in a last-ditch attempt to protect the lagoon from oil contamination. There were no experts on oil booms, contractors, state or federal disaster relief workers…. It was the third day in a row the locals were left to their own devices, even as oil washed ashore on Stinson Beach, leaving speckles of tar in the sand.

UPDATE: Nov 10, 2007, 10am: The rangers at Point Reyes tell me that the spill have not reached the beaches yet, although they do expect it to happen. The booms to collect the oil are being put out at Drakes Bay to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shores.

The oil spill from the Cosco Busan container ship has affected the southern part of West Marin (esp the Headlands), but there have been reports of oil as far north as Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon. The early focus has been cleanup and rescue of birds.  The advice from bird experts regarding lay people trying to rescue birds have been mixed.  The good folks at PRBO say: “Please do not collect oiled wildlife, the oil is toxic to handle.  Collecting live birds without training can cause more harm than help and compromise their condition. Oiled LIVE mammals should be reported to the Marine Mammal Center at 415.464-5170. Oiled dead mammals should be reported to the California Academy of Science at 415.289.7325.”Volunteers have been referred to International Bird Rescue Research Center, where they do have some instructions for helping birds.  Read up and use your best judgement if you encounter oiled birds in need.In the meantime, the Marin Independent Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle have good coverage of the spill.  The Chronicle has put together this helpful map of the spill area.
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These photos are from the MarinIJ.