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Cleanup winding down, but beach still closed

Submitted by on 1, November 4, 2009 – 5:40 amNo Comment
A worker cleans up the shoreline along Bay Farm Island, just off the side of the bridge.

Officials in charge of cleaning up after a tanker fuel oil spill Friday are winding down their efforts, but at least one local beach is still closed indefinitely.

On-water skimming activities were completed Monday, and an aerial assessment of the Bay revealed no new, visible oil on the water. But shoreline cleanup continues, and Crown Beach continues to be closed.

“The beach is closed for the safety of the public, but most importantly to give oiled birds and marine life a place to rest. The public is asked to please stay off the beach,” a message on the East Bay Regional Park District’s website said Tuesday night. “Clean-up crews are on-site and likely will be working throughout the week or longer.”

According to the Joint Information website set up to keep the public informed about the spill’s continuing aftermath, wildlife search teams found no new oiled wildlife today. But they said two additional birds that had been found previously died today. The total number of oiled birds found on the Island to date is 50. Eighteen have died, and 32 are live.

A fishing and shellfish harvesting ban continues remains in effect for the Alameda County shoreline from the Bay Bridge to the San Mateo Bridge.

The spill occurred early Friday morning when the Panamanian-flagged Dubai Star tanker vessel stopped at an anchorage two miles southwest of Alameda Point to refuel, leaking somewhere between 400 and 800 gallons of fuel into the Bay. The fuel washed up in several spots along the Island, including Crown Beach, Ballena Bay Isle and Bay Farm Island.

The cause of the spill has not yet been determined.

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