Twenty rescued seabirds return to wild at Port of Oakland

Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 4, 2015

Twenty rescued seabirds return to wild at Port of Oakland

Volunteers release victims of San Francisco Bay mystery goo


Oakland, CA – Feb. 4, 2015 – Twenty healthy seabirds endangered by mysterious San Francisco Bay goo were released at the Port of Oakland this morning.

“It’s always a big day for us,” said Russ Curtis of International Bird Rescue, a Fairfield, Ca.-based nonprofit. “Our reward is seeing these beautiful, clean birds returned to their natural habitat in good health.”

The birds are part of a flock of 330 rescued by the organization since January. All were taken from the Bay with unidentified goo that robs waterfowl of their natural insulation. More than 150 were found dead, covered in goo. Another 132 are still being treated. The rest have been returned to the wild.

The 11 a.m. release took place at the Port of Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. Rescuers said they selected the location because of its beauty, protected cove and proximity to the Bay. The Port worked with community and public agency partners to design and build the park as an ecological reserve for endangered birds and aquatic life.

Port employees assisted International Bird Rescue volunteers in setting the birds free.

“We’re pleased to play a small part in this saga, but the real heroes are the staff and volunteers of International Bird Rescue who have saved so many seabirds,” said Richard Sinkoff, the Port of Oakland’s Director of Environmental Programs and Planning.

Each bird was medically stabilized at International Bird Rescue, cleaned with baking soda and vinegar and finally, Dawn detergent. The organization said there have been no new cases of soiled birds since Jan 22.

Investigators have been unable to identify the mystery substance that jeopardized the birds. Attempts to find the source of the goo have also been unsuccessful so far.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport. The Port’s jurisdiction includes 20 miles of waterfront from the Bay Bridge through Oakland International Airport. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland.
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Media Contact:

Roberto Bernardo,
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
Click here to contact Robert Bernardo

Marilyn Sandifur
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur

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