I wept when I read the news about the fuel spill, 58,000 gallons into San Francisco Bay, which has threatened hundreds of thousands of birds, closed our beaches and reached the Farallon Islands and the Sonoma County line.
I wanted to know if there was any way to volunteer or donate to help in the clean-up. Here's what I've found so far:
I sent these guys $100, far more than fiscal responsibility dictates in my case. But they do great work and will be on this case for years.
--Coastal Commission (http://www.coastal.ca.gov/oilspill/ospndx.html)
--San Francisco Oiled Wildlife Care & Education Center (http://www.ibrrc.org/contact.html)
The volunteer numbers for these groups are consistently busy, but keep trying...
--Let your elected officials know you're pissed.
This accident was preventable, and, as the Chronicle reports, the response was inexcusably slow.
Democrat Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said in a statement that she was "very troubled by the Coast Guard's delay in delivering accurate information to the public and the city of San Francisco. ... Many questions remain as to why it took an entire day to determine the gravity of this spill."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom promised that the city would take legal action against whoever is responsible for the spill and expressed irritation that his office, like many, learned the true scope of the spill after 9 p.m.
The Chronicle broke out a separate story on this guy's spotty record.
State Pilot Commission records show that Capt. John Cota, who was in charge of navigating the Cosco Busan when it hit the bridge, has been involved in a number of ship-handling incidents and was reprimanded last year for errors in judgment when he ran a ship aground near Antioch.
Cota, 59, is a master mariner, and veteran of 26 years as a ship pilot. He was involved in four "incidents" over the past 14 years and on several other occasions was "counseled" for perceived mistakes in ship handling.
Contact California's US senators and Gov. Schwarzenegger and tell them we need tighter restrictions on fuel vessels, the companies running them and the people operating them, that come in and out of San Francisco Bay.
Contact Mayor Newsom and let him know you support his efforts to bring the perpetrators of this tragedy to justice and to do whatever is in his power to prevent this from happening again.