The November 7 oil spill in San Francisco Bay has us all looking for information on how to help. At this point, most of the immediate clean-up work is done, but there are still a number of reources available online, as well as important opportunities to get involved with training and restoration programs all over the region.
To report oiled wildlife, call (877)823-6926 (for oiled animals in San Francisco, dial 311). In the East Bay, you can also call (510)981-6720.
To report oil in or along the water, dial (985)781-0804.
Several governmental entities at the local and state levels have created websites with safety advisories and news about the ongoing cleanup.
Visit the Cosco Busan Unified Command page for updates on the cleanup.
The city of San Francisco has volunteer opportunities and news posted here.
The city of Berkeley is posting water quality advisories and boating information here.
The California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response has updates on the official response to the spill and tidal and weather conditions affecting its spread. Also available are maps of the oil slick spreading over time.
The Oiled Wildlife Care Network is an alliance of organizations and facilities that care for animals exposed to oil spills. As we saw, organizations involved in cleanup were overwhelmed by offers of assistance in the days after the spill. Hundreds of potential volunteers had to be turned away due to the impossibility of training so many in safe cleanup procedures in such a short time. It’s time to start thinking about the future. Visit OWCN’s volunteer page to learn about training sessions and organizations whose pre-trained volunteers can be quickly tapped when the next disaster occurs.
BayKeeper has a long history of tracking environmental insults to the Bay. Their website is a good place to look for information about the spill and cleanup efforts as well as volunteer opportunities, including recently scheduled HazMat trainings. BayKeeper also has information on how to clean your oiled boat.
Wildcare, a San Rafael wildlife rehabilitation center, is assisting with the triage of oiled animals. They are currently looking for volunteers to help transport animals and supplies to cleaning facilities. To register, and for updates on their efforts, visit their website.
Golden Gate Audubon Society is soliciting volunteers to help with its 2007 Christmas Bird Count. Participation in this yearly population census will help environmental organizations and government agencies to assess the scope of the spill’s impact. Check for updates online.
Join Save the Bay on one of their frequent Bay habitat restoration projects to build up ecosystem health against this and future spills.
The Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, in Tiburon, is looking for volunteers to help monitor the area. Going forward, they will be looking for help in their restoration work. Their site also provides maps and other information about the spill’s effects on Richardson Bay.
For updates on bird rescues, background on the spill, and comparison to other spills, visit the web page of the International Bird Rescue Research Center.
For public advisories on the spill collected from various government entities, visit Incident News
Earth911 has maps showing water quality warnings and beach closings by county.