Coast Guard, State, Local Agencies Continue Beach Cleanups

SAN FRANCISCO – The Coast Guard, state and local agencies, and contractors continue with cleanup efforts of tar balls that washed up on local beaches yesterday.

“It is not uncommon for small quantities of this nature to appear on beaches in the winter following storms that produce high surf, said Capt. Paul Gugg, Commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “However, we quickly and aggressively responded to the reports yesterday, and we continue to work closely with our partner agencies to clean up and monitor the situation as we await the results of the testing.”

Four Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Teams (SCAT) are on scene. Two teams are working in the areas south from Carmel and Santa Cruz, while two other teams are working beaches further north from Santa Cruz to Pacifica State Beach. In addition, boat crews from Coast Guard Stations Monterey and Golden Gate are searching and assessing the waters for any additional tar balls, pollution or oil sheens. Currently there are 50 personnel cleaning at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve at Moss Beach; 20 people at Pacifica State Beach; and seven at Rockaway Beach. Members of the Coast Guard, CA State Fish and Game and contracted oil spill response organizations are monitoring the cleanup efforts and will adjust crews and personnel as needed.

An HH-65 helicopter from Air Station San Francisco was launched this morning shortly after daybreak for aerial coverage. However, the flight did not see any oil or other pollution in the water or on the beaches.

Tar ball samples taken yesterday by the California Department of Fish and Game are being analyzed at a local laboratory in Sacramento to determine the source. Results are expected later today. The Coast Guard has also taken independent samples for further testing.

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