Friday, November 09, 2007

Many Birds Are Okay (So Far)

This morning, I went on a ride through Sausalito and Tiburon, in part to inspect the damage from the oil spill. Although tragedy to marine life and the coastal ecosystem is being reported throughout the Bay and along the Pacific Coast (especially to the north of San Francisco) I was relieved to see that at least the tidal marshes in Sausalito do not seem to be greatly (or obviously) affected. I worry that the clean-up is not happening quickly enough, though, and that the strong currents that change with the tides, could bring some of the oil to this area.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge before dawn, I could smell fumes and see a sheen on the Bay from the oil. It was too dark to see anything in the water in Sausalito, but I didn't smell fumes as I was riding through town. I looked at the rocks along the water on Bridgeway--if there were oil globs stuck on them, it wasn't obvious to me as I rode by. I had been most concerned about the tidal marsh north of Sausalito. The bike path runs through this area, and whenever I ride by, I see many species of birds feeding here; I'd noted the recent arrival of Canada geese. I looked at some of the pools of water and couldn't tell if there was oil in them, but they seemed okay. Riding around the backside of Tiburon, I could smell strong fumes again from the oil. I didn't have a good view of the water there, but the I wondered if residents there had been warned about air quality.

I stopped for a few minutes near the ferry stop in Tiburon and looked out over the water. I couldn't see globs washing ashore but I wasn't too close. I was bothered, though, by what seemed to be an absence of any effort to protect the area. I didn't see any of those yellow booms to collect oil, and the oil skimming ships were far off. The day before, it was reported that there was an oil slick at Angel Island, which is not too far away from Tiburon. Just tonight, it was reported that there is still a large oil slick between Tiburon and Angel Island. I hope the people in charge of this operation are competent.

I stopped to take a few photos before and as I was crossing back over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco. With the bright sun, it was a little hard to see, but I could see some oil swirling around a building past Fort Baker and a trail of black goo leading east from the bridge. I saw a bird down below and it seemed to be struggling. It was hard to see from so far up, though.

Oil skimmers
Fort Baker north of San Francisco. I think those might be oil skimmer ships out there, or possibly Coast Guard.

Looking south
From the viewing area north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Oil near Fort Baker
From the Bridge, I could see oil swirling around this outcrop.

Globs of oil have been found all over the place. I could see a trail of oil leading east from the Bridge.


Rachel... said...

I thought I saw some small oil slicks near the Maritime Museum yesterday, but might have been my imagination. (Lurker, in SF for the weekend)

Anne said...

You probably did see some. That whole area is apparently shut down.

Amylia said...

thank you for posting these photos.