Thu | Day 16 – Thanksgiving Cleanups, KTS Volunteer Appreciation Night, 12/5

See next article below for the Thanksgiving Day’s  CleanUp at Ocean Beach, and Friday’s rally at Bolinas, or go here.



Wed | Day 15 – Join Us for Thanksgiving CleanUp, Ocean Beach + Bolinas

Per KTS, Matter of Trust, and the SF Dept of Emergency Management:

Volunteer Beach Clean-up Thanksgiving Day

National Park Service Officials anticipate that the high tide on the morning of November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day, may deposit small tar balls and minor amounts of oil at Ocean Beach.

Therefore, the City and County of San Francisco, together with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, will coordinate a volunteer beach clean-up to sweep the area for newly deposited oil spill debris. This opportunity is only open to volunteers who have attended training and received a Cosco Busan Disaster Service Worker Identification Card.

Date:   Thursday, November 22nd
Time:   10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Locations:  Report to either of the two locations listed below (Fire Trucks will mark the staging areas):

            1.    Lincoln Way and Ocean Beach Parking Area

            2.    Sloat Blvd and Ocean Beach Parking Area

Details:    Only volunteers with a Cosco Busan Disaster Service Worker Identification Card will be permitted to participate in this beach clean-up activity. Since the amount of debris is likely to be minor, there are no plans to close the beach or to deploy volunteers in full personal protective gear. Volunteers will be provided with the amount of protective equipment necessary in relation to the amount of debris.  Volunteers will be provided with gloves, booties, scoops, hair mats and buckets. Lunch will not be provided at this deployment.

If there is a need for additional volunteer deployment in the coming weeks, information will be posted here  and on the 311 website,  Please check back regularly for the most up to date information or call 3-1-1.



As posted by Natalie Pepper:  “Meet at the Wharf end of Bolinas Beach at 1:00. For info call,  415.302.7712 “

Tue | Day 14 – Future Clean-Ups & Reminder Tips

prep.jpgPer KTS this morning:

“With the Volunteers trained and oil still washing up on our beaches, we know people are frustrated with the official volunteer efforts coming to an end, prematurely.  Stay tuned for additional clean-ups to be organized, timed with the tides.  Please continue to help us get feedback on the state of the beaches, on site, photos, stories.”



Courtesy of Lynn Stone.  Feel free to forward.

  • Picking up Globules: This outline is intended as a refresher for those who have taken the HazMat course. If you have not taken the 4 hour course and you want to pick up oil anyway, the ‘authorities‘ are saying you can’t do that on your own familiar beaches that you love and enjoy. Many people are picking up oil without the training. They could be exposing themselves to toxins.

  • Currently, the officials are are no longer recruiting volunteers anyway. The beaches will have oil washing up on them for a while still. Things may be different in Marin, which was hard hit. Please follow these HazMat guidelines for safety reasons, both for yourself and others. Thank you!

  • Tyvek suits are available at many hardwear stores, as are good nitrile gloves, bags, and good old duct tape! Get a strong garbage bag and whatever tools you want. A kitty litter scoop might work, or some kind of strainer type kitchen tool. Some areas of beach will have big globs, some will be very small. You might want knee pads if you think they would help. What you do with the oil you pick up will depend on where you are. Please do not just put it in the garbage. Call available phone #’s at the top of the page for safe pick up in SF, or inquire locally.

  • General spill and oil info:
    There are spills in the bay every day.The oil was diesel also, so it spread a lot and was hard to boom. The oil is now a slight hazard to clean up crews. It is not a reactive chemical. Good compatibility with the tyvek suits and protective gear.EXPOSURE. Short term exposure is called acute exposure; long term exposure is called chronic.Much of the cancer causing chemicals have evaporated. Fresh oil evaporates toxics, Benzene, toulene, xylene. In low lying areas don’t smoke, as there could be a suffocation risk. The oil is no longer fresh, and fumes should not accumulate. Still, be aware.Rotten oil smell is hydrogen sulfide.This stuff is globtastic, there are up to 6 ft globs.
    Oil is going to a hazardous waste landfill. Type of fuel in spill is IFO-380. Intermediate Fuel Oil- 380 MSDS sheets available for download. Google it
  • This process is going to take a long time, Every wave has thousands of globules. The external surface of the globs has weathered and will not spread and rejoin other globs if they touch.
  • It is only moderately combustable. Extinguish with dry chemical. Fumes could gather in low areas. Don’t smoke; if you eat it don’t induce vomiting as aspiration can cause chemical pneumonia.
  • How toxic is the stuff? If you keep it off your body and don’t eat it, it is not that toxic. Don’t get it on your skin.
  • Health Risks:


Length of exposure and concentration determine risk. The oil contains irritants and carcinogens.

Crude oil likes fats, it likes your skin, it wants to stick on to your skin and soak into it.
Wear a respirator if you think you are sensitive to the fumes.

There are some biological threats in the coastal environments, specifically viral and biological bacteria that can infect cuts. Stay away from sharps (needles).Toxic effects can vary based on gender, age, susceptibilities, health and
routes of exposure- absorption is the #1 way here. You could have toxic effects from inhalation, ingestion, and injection. Don’t do those things.
 Influences on sensitivity: Condition of skin. Duration of exposure. Watch out when you eat, drink or smoke, or better yet: Don’t.
You will smell sulfur. Don’t worry about that, just don’t get the stuff on you.

OSHA allows 5mg/m (then there is a little three up above the last m) every 8 hours of exposure to the petroleum distillated present in the oil. So no problem.

If you eat it (don’t!) you could have nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
If you get it in your eyes, flush for 15 minutes with fresh water.
A skin rash would appear in reaction to the oil sooner rather than later.
If you sweat in gear stay hydrated. You can wear shorts. Suit will keep oily debris off skin.

  • Dealing with the Suit:
  • Get nitrile gloves (not latex gloves).
    You might feel like a dork in the tyvek suit, but it will keep microglobuals of oil off your clothes and hence your skin. Watch out if the suit gets wet as it will weaken and is more likely to tear. Think about tying back long hair and possibly covering it.Jewelry will rip gear sometimes. You might trip on the booties. If you are not working with an official clean-up crew, as these notes were intended for, and you can not get proper booties, you could use bags and duct tape, or designate a pair of old boots for oil cleanup use ONLY. Tape suit over tops of boots. Pay attention to how long you are in the suit. Rest. Take breaks. If you need to take off suit to pee and drink be prepared to do that. You will ruin the suit removing it, so have another ready to put on. Technically you shouldn’t eat or drink in suit. You will need help to get suit on and off. Double glove. Tape front zipper. Sleeves of suit go over gloves and booties. You might have to cut it off. Get help.


  • Questions for the US Coast Guard should be directed to their public information office at (510) 437-3325. 
  • To report oil on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • For pickup and disposal of oily waste, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • To report oiled wildlife on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 701-2311.
  • To file a claim for oiled property, please call (886) 442-9650.
  • Public Information Hotline and Media Inquiries, please call (415) 398-9621.

Mon | Day 13 – Kill the Spill in the Media


Here are a few articles covering the surf community’s grassroots efforts:

1.  LA Times 11.18.07  “Spill Guerillas Hit the Beach”

2.  Surfline 11.13.07:  “KILL THE SPILL San Francisco surfers take cleaning Ocean Beach into their own hand”
– article by Marcus Sanders, with quotes from Proof Lab and Surfrider SF:

3.  Surfer Magazine: “SEEPING THROUGH SAN FRAN: Oil Spill Ravages OB, Mavericks Next?
– with quotes from Grant Washburn

4.  Santa Cruz Sentinel 11.18.07  – “San Francisco surf spots on lockdown after oil spill; Santa Cruz beaches safe for now.”
– with quotes from Wise Surfboards’ Dave Alexander

Mon | Day 13 – Fistful of OB Oil from Sunday


From OB resident, Ben Garcia: “As per sunday at 10 am there was plenty of small oil blobs seen on ocean beach.  I walked a small area between fulton and kirkham and in an hour or less had a fistful of oil.”  See photo above.

Mon | Day 13 – new update for Ocean Beach

More on OB, per Darin & Kathleen of Kill the Spill:

I just checked OB [this morning, Monday] and there are signs saying the you should use the beach at your own risk.  Between Noriega and Taraval there were THREE quarter sized oil spots!  The surf looks good, overhead and glassy on the outside.” — Kathleen, Kill The Spill (KTS)

” Sunday:  [I hiked]around OB checking different spots. Even though many of the beaches in the area have been opened, I’m not so sure that I would play fetch with my dog in the surf yet or enjoy some of the nice swell that is in town.

Areas Checked at OB Area:
-Sloat (first lot & second lot)
-Ft. Funston

Still some small oil spots here and there (very few) about a quarter or dime sized along the water line. Check any plastic or trash you see, as the oil bonds to floating objects. Surfers are reporting they don’t notice the water being oily.

[Again, it’d] be helpful is to check different parts of the coast line and [have everybody] post your results to the blog or email your info in. We have plenty of certified resources to sweep through an area now.”  – Darin Rosas, KTS

See also OB resident’s Sunday report in the comment section of the earlier Monday update.

Mon | Day 13 Update – Pacifica, Berkeley, Ocean Beach, Marin

Thank you all for your reports.  Keep them coming in, so we can let the official agencies know where to deploy more resources. 

Per Greg Cochran of Pedro Point Surf Club on Sunday:

 “We have had small amounts of oil washing ashore on all of our beaches.  The Pro Cleanup crew cleaned Linda Mar this AM [Sunday]. Very minimal amounts on all beaches. We will continue to clean as need be. Beaches will remain open, as long as we don’t get massive amounts.  All indicators point to continued small amounts coming in with the High Tides. “


BERKELEY – Volunteers needed
Matter of Trust is sending out more hair mats to Berkeley to get oil off the rocks.  We also had word on Sunday that Berkeley needs more certified volunteers to help with the cleanup of various sites, to supplement the contractor crews’ efforts. 

If you have your card, please call Deborah,  City of Berkeley Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront  510-703-2825, to be deployed.


OCEAN BEACH: From OB resident, Ben Garcia: “As per sunday at 10 am there was plenty of small oil blobs seen on ocean beach. i walked a small area between fulton and kirkham and in an hour or less had a fistful of oil.”“There were no clean up crews, just ahandful of both gloved and ungloved volunteers that were hoping to find an organized effort. It seems there is still plenty of oil — the blobs are just a lot smaller and harder to spot.”



Per D.Harrison on Sunday: 

“I went by Cronkite today at about noon… Spoke with the Park Ranger and Park Police, word in that hood is that the O’Brien crew had been cleaning that AM (with no “need” for volunteers) and were supposed to be back and were 2 hours late… The park ranger called into dispatch for us and tried to get us cleaning access, but no luck; 1st no guide to “supervise”, 2nd no waste designation area… He than said that a small volunteer crew was at Baker cleaning, but I later found out that was mainly an O’brien/Ind. crew…

….Three Surfers in the water at Cron Sunday AM and a hiker on the coast saw a BIG Great White attacking a seal.  [The shark was] finishing the job right in the breakers… so now Cron is closed to swimmers/surfers due to the shark…But again it looks as if that Marin is still seeing fresh deposits on the beaches, Cronkite is 1/2 way open and all water access is closed due to the shark.   At least mother nature is helping us out, the waves by the way at OB today and at cron were BIG…
But there is still a lot of oil landing, half of Cron was open but both Ranger and Police agreed it was too early to open up access and there should be a lot of volunteers combing the water line and high water line… But there are not…

The word from both employees about Marin is “A big lack of thorough cohesive communication; both on a local and state level with the O’Brien/Indep. cleaners.  Multiple agencies having big issues communicating…”

I will go by a couple of beaches in the AM (Muir/Tennessee Valley) but I hope to have word about Bolinas and Stinson tomorrow as well as the others, again if anybody has heard conflicting news, please let us know.  I have heard that oil has even been found in RCA!”