Bay Area Spills This Week

This past week has been busy for OWCN! Two spills occurred on the same day (Feb. 10), and the OWCN was activated for both.

Oily debris at the Shell refinery spill in Martinez on Feb. 11, 2015.  Photo credit: Michelle Bellizzi

Oily debris at the Shell refinery spill in Martinez on Feb. 11, 2015. Photo credit: Michelle Bellizzi

One spill happened in the late afternoon at the Shell refinery in Martinez, when a reported 2 barrels of oil and water mixture leaked into the Bay as a result of a test being conducted on a pipe. Two OWCN Wildlife Recovery teams were deployed and actively scouted the area by boat and along the shoreline, but no impacted wildlife was seen.

A second spill happened at the Alameda Marina, where it was reported that there was a strong odor of diesel in the evening of Feb. 10, although the source is still under investigation. One OWCN Wildlife Recovery team was deployed on Feb. 11, and immediately started combing the area to look for injured wildlife.

As if two spills weren’t enough, on Feb. 12 there was yet another spill reported, roughly in the same area as the Alameda spill, where today the Recovery team captured one oiled Pied-billed Grebe that was transferred to the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center.

John Deakin, OWCN Wildlife Recovery  staff, searches for oiled birds in Alameda. Photo credit: Isabel Luevano.

John Deakin, OWCN Wildlife Recovery staff, searches for oiled birds in Alameda. Photo credit: Isabel Luevano.

These events, although small in nature, remind us of the constant threat of oil spills that could affect wildlife at any time.  We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers and staff, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.

Kyra.

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