Baykeeper Update

Oil Spill Drill in Oakland Harbor

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Executive Director and Baykeeper Deb Self is participating in an oil spill preparedness training in the Oakland Middle Harbor today.

She reports:

I'm out at the Oakland Middle Harbor where oil spill responders are testing a new strategy to protect this important bird habitat in the event of an oil spill in the Bay. The mudflats are teeming with shorebirds – so far today, I've seen Long-billed Curlew, Dowitchers, Sandpipers, Willets and Avocets. Since the area is fairly shallow, I was surprised to find so many diving ducks, including Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks and Scaup, along with plenty of Eared Grebes and Coots.

Out at the wide entrance to the harbor, they are stretching out hundreds of feet of boom to see how it's impacted by currents, in order to decide where it should be anchored if there's an oil spill. We'll see a very high tide, about 6.8 feet, around noon, giving the workers a nice slack tide with smooth waters and slow currents.