Alameda beach closed because of oil

June 18, 2008 12:01:34 PM PDT
A popular Alameda beach remains closed for a second straight day as Coast Guard officials try to find the source of tar balls that have been washing ashore at Crown Memorial State Beach.

Crews are currently monitoring the situation and actually not doing any cleanup because very little oil was found this morning, but officials say it could be two tide cycles before they know for sure if they are in the clear.

Instead of runners and walkers along the shoreline at Crown State Memorial Beach, there were investigators and caution tape.

"We've tried to be as proactive as possible, making sure that animals are safe. We have placed a boom around the marine sanctuary as well as keeping the beaches closed for the safety of the p[public," says Petty Officer Kevin Neff of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The beach was closed Tuesday after globs of oil were found in the water and on the sand. So far, there has only been very little oil discovered and the Coast Guard is optimistic the beach will open soon. However, where the oil came from still remains a mystery.

"We don't have any information on the source and very unlikely that it's part of the Cosco Busan oil. It is fresh oil and it doesn't have the same look or feel as the oil we found from the Cosco Busan," says Officer Neff.

The Department of Fish and Game is keeping a close eye on the beach because it's located so close to the sanctuary for the animals.

"There's both the Clapper Rail bird here and also the California Brown Pelican. Both of these species of birds are endangered and they are protected, so we want to be very visual about them to make sure they are okay," says Lt. Brian Arnold of California Fish and Game.

So far there have been no reports of animals and birds being sick, but local beachgoers are still concerned.

"Yesterday, I saw children in the water and it concerns me how its effecting them and how it effects the wildlife and the birds," says Alameda resident Carol Dutra.

The beach is currently being investigated and test will continue to go on throughout the day. They should have more of those results in by Wednesday of Thursday.


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