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Sewage & oil spills: I wonder what’s killing the birds?

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 at 6:57 am in Birds, Oil Spills, Sewage spills.

Staff and volunteers at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Tiburon, CA, have reported they are experiencing an unusual spike in the number of dead birds found in and around their facility.

More than 60 birds of a variety of species have been found at the sanctuary since Jan. 26. That number is similar to the total number of dead birds found at the Audubon Center after the 50,000-plus gallon Cosco Busan fuel oil spill on Nov. 7.

Over 5 million gallons of raw, partially treated sewage were released into the Bay by the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin on Jan. 25 and Jan. 31.

As I said above, the first dead birds were spotted in the water on Jan. 26, the day after the first spill. There was reportedly another spike in the number of dead birds found on Feb. 1, the day after the second spill.

50,000-plus gallons of toxic fuel oil and 5 million-plus gallons of sewage have been dumped into San Francisco Bay … and Western grebes, greater scaups, surf scoters, buffleheads and other aquatic bird species are dying.

Any guesses as to what the cause of this might be? /Gary

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One Response to “Sewage & oil spills: I wonder what’s killing the birds?”

  1. Liz Marshall Says:


    The 25th was a typo by the government. Regardless of typo, untreated wastewater in the natural area is horribly destructive.

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