For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008
BERKELEY OIL SPILL ROUNDUP
Rowing, canoeing and kayaking return to Aquatic Park
Berkeley, California (Wednesday, November 21, 2007) - Rowing, canoeing and kayaking are being allowed at Berkeley’s Aquatic Park lagoon again, after being prohibited because of the oil spill caused by the Cosco Busan.
“The tide tubes have been closed for almost two weeks now, and that seems to have kept the lagoon fairly clean compared to the Bay,” said Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna. “We’re glad to see Aquatic Park being used again.”
Volunteer efforts have been called off while contractors hired by the responsible party clean the beaches. City officials praised the volunteers, who came from all over the Bay Area to help clean Berkeley and other affected communities.
"The volunteer effort was an amazing one,” said Caronna. “In just 10 days, more than 700 volunteers came from all over the Bay Area to Berkeley to help. More than 300 people spent four hours in a concentrated HazMat course and learned how to safely clean up toxic bunker oil. Others helped spot and rescue oiled birds, drove the birds to Cordelia for treatment, and helped protect visiting people and pets from the unsafe waters of the Bay. They did great work.”
As a reminder, however, Marina visitors are being warned not to get too close to the water or to the contractors who will be working over the weekend to clean the beach.
Health warnings about avoiding contact with the water and avoiding fish and other seafood from the Bay are still in effect. There is no fishing for human consumption allowed until December 1 by order of the Governor, and Marina visitors are required to stay 50 feet away from the water by proclamation of City Manager Phil Kamlarz.
Boat owners are still asked to refrain from cleaning their boats for the time being. Unified Command is developing a plan to safely decontaminate boats and marinas and will make it public as soon as it is finally approved.