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Berkeley Council Addresses Oil Spill

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday November 20, 2007

Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz took several emergency actions after the Nov. 9 oil spill. In a specially called meeting Monday afternoon, the council retroactively approved the measures:  

• Dogs at the Marina, Aquatic Park and all waterfront and shoreline areas of the city must be restrained by a leash of no more than six feet within 250 feet of the water. (Dogs can continue to be off-leash in the specially designated area of Cesar Chavez Park, however.) 

• Humans are prohibited within 50 feet of the shoreline, except at designated volunteer assembly areas. 

• Boat washing is prohibited, except for commercial vessels with written permission of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. 

While trained volunteers had been cleaning the shoreline, at present cleanup in Berkeley is restricted to professionals cleaning rock areas.  

“There are 75 people today [in Berkeley] working on the rock areas,” Kamlarz said. “We’re asking volunteers to stay away and let the professionals deal with the rocks.” 

No new volunteer trainings are scheduled, Kamlarz said. The city has lists of people who have been trained. After several days of high tides, the city may again need trained volunteers to work at the shoreline. 

If people find injured or oily birds, they should not approach them, but call 981-6720. 

Councilmember Kriss Worthington added that the state’s delay notifying cities of the spill should be investigated.  

“The impact of the spill will last days, weeks, even years,” he said. “If the state had a faster response, we could have decreased the negative impact. We need to ask what caused the delay.” 


—Judith Scherr