Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘bridge’

April 18, 2009

New Bay Bridge will have "Corm Condos"

The long-delayed San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project might be good for the birds too. New “Corm Condos” are being built to give cormorants a newer place to nest underneath the $6 Billion bridge.

The 2 1/2 foot wide steel perches are being added to the eastern span of the Bay Bridge at a cost of $550,000. Double-Crested Cormorants have been roosting beneath the old span for more than 20 years.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s columnist’s, Matier & Ross, poked fun at the Caltrans project in 2005: “The Bay Bridge boondoggle has something for everyone — even the birds.”

Adding:

If the birds don’t take to the new digs on their own, biologists will try to entice them by painting cormorant silhouettes on the perches, playing recordings of cormorants and putting up mirrors on the platforms.

Then there’s the $750,000 that Caltrans is spending under a four-year contract for a small boat crew of binocular-armed ornithologists. Their job is to scour the old bridge for as much as 10 hours a week, keeping an official count of the cormorants along with a handful of endangered birds that inhabit the structure, including brown pelicans, peregrine falcons and least terns.

In reality, we’re trying to share the fragile bay waters with a lot of wildlife and this cost doesn’t seem to high to help the birds have new nesting areas when the old span – built in 1936 – makes way for a newer bridge in 2013. If we can spend $15 million on adding bike lanes to the bridge, another million and change seems fair.

And hello, it turns out measures to protect the cormorants are because of federal and state regulations to help native and endangered habitats.

The original Bay Bridge has been the subject of concern after since a top deck roadbed section collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989.

Read more on the Corm Condos at SFGate.com

March 26, 2008

Timeline of Cosco Busan spill: First 90 minutes

This is a timeline of the Cosco Busan spill. It shows how fast things happen after an oil spill – and why acting quickly is important. The Nov. 7, 2007 spill put 53,569 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay.

Here are the first 90 minutes:

8:30 a.m.: Harbor pilot Capt. John Cota, guiding the 900-foot Cosco Busan out of port, notifies vessel traffic service that the ship “touched” a Bay Bridge pier.

8:37: Spill first reported by president of Bar Pilots Association; details scant.

8:54: Cota calls U.S. Coast Guard, reports ship discharging fuel.

8:55: New pilot boards Cosco Busan, replacing Cota.

9 a.m.: Deadline under state law for ship’s crew to place four phone calls reporting spill.

9:03: Coast Guard vessel under way to the ship carrying its own spill investigator.

9:05: First cleanup contractor learns of accident from a third party.

9:10: Contractor dispatches first two cleanup vessels; San Francisco Fire Department calls Coast Guard to offer aid, is turned away.

9:15: Cosco Busan crew makes first required phone call about spill, to its owner-representative.

9:17: Replacement pilot calls second cleanup contractor, leaves message.

9:18: Second contractor calls back, is told spill is about 400 gallons.

9:23: Pilot reports ship is no longer leaking fuel.

9:30: First contractor on scene. Reports heavy fog but finds no oil.

9:35: Contractor smells oil and reports “heavy sheen” on water.

9:42: State Office of Emergency Services notified of spill by ship’s owner-representative.

9:45: State oil spill expert arrives at Yerba Buena Island command center, begins three-hour wait to board Cosco Busan.

9:50: Coast Guard pollution investigator boards Cosco Busan.

10 a.m.: Contractor gets approval to begin skimming oil.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Incident Specific Preparedness Review committee report, Jan. 11.

– From the Sacramento Bee