Local Outrage– We’ll Pay the Price for SF Oil Spill for Years

What used to be a normal day at Crissy Field–


Now ruined by a toxic oil spill on the water–


One of the great pleasures of living in San Francisco is the ability to enjoy the natural beauty and unique features of the San Francisco Bay.  When I first moved to San Francisco in 1990 I would windsurf regularly under the Golden Gate Bridge, launching from Crissy Field.  In 1993, I joined the South End Rowing Club (one of two local Polar Bear swimming clubs) and would actually swim in the Bay three to five times a week, immersing myself in the exhilarating waters of Aquatic Park for as long as thirty three minutes… 

More recently, I’ve been riding my bike down to the Golden Gate Bridge through the Presidio and taking advantage of the new cycling paths next to the superb wetlands restoration project at Crissy Field.  I often cross the Golden Gate on my bicycle and ride up into the Marin Headlands. But cyclists are depressed, windurfers are grounded, and nobody is swimming in the Bay after the collision of the Cosco Busan cargo ship into the Bay Bridge on Wednesday November 8th at 8:30 AM released 58,000 gallons of oil into the Bay. Click here for Sacramento Bee story.

Crissy Field is desolate and adorned only by oil spill cleanup booms; virtually all of our San Francisco Bay beaches are closed due to the disastrous oil spill that has befouled our Bay– and the spill now stretches out to sea 10 miles, threatening sensitive bird breeding grounds in the Farallon Islands.20071109_084901_oilspillbeaches1109

click on image to enlarge

We, the cyclists, swimmers, sailors, beach-loving families, and, most of all, the defenseless wildlife that are our national treasure, are going to be paying the price for this negligence for years.  It appears that emergency crews did not act in a timely manner to stem the damage– and the sad fact is that in 30 minutes, the bulk of the damage was done. 

The earth is already in trouble from climate change, and avoidable tragedies such as this one should only punctuate the need to plan ahead for the low probability, high loss events that can impact our lives and destroy the natural habitat that makes the Bay Area special.  It is a sad day for all of us. 

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