Monday, December 31, 2007

Ongoing impact of San Francisco Bay Oil Spill Unfortunately, there is likely going to be an impact on both wildlife and the environment as a result of the Nov. 7 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay for many years to come. Over 58,000 gallons of oil spilled into the bay after a large Cosco container ship hit the Bay Bridge. Although lawsuits are in motion, the cannot do much to rescue an oiled bird or injured marine mammal. As of November 20, 2007, Audubon California had logged the following data:
  • Birds in care: 1,060
  • Birds washed: 783
  • Birds found dead in the field: 1,702
  • Birds died/euthanized: 573
  • Birds released: 317
This area is host to countless migratory birds and the impact could be very far-reaching due to migration patterns. The oil had also made its way to the Farallon Islands, which are home to over 200,000 Common Murres -- the largest colony south of Alaska. While most of the wildlife that was immediately impacted has likely perished by now, if by chance you do come across an oiled bird, contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (415) 701-2311 or (877) 823-6926. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to help with ongoing cleanup or education efforts, contact your local branch of Audubon California. If you ever come across an injured marine mammal, do not attempt to rescue it yourself, but contact the Marine Mammal Center at: (415) 289-7325.