Sunday, November 18, 2007

How is OB Now; How Can I Help Further?

I have been hiking around OB today checking different spots. Even though many of the beaches in the area have been opened, I'm not so sure that I would play fetch with my dog in the surf yet or enjoy some of the nice swell that is in town.
I think one area that might be helpful is to check different parts of the coast line and post your results to the blog or email your info in. We have plenty of certified resources to sweep through an area now.

Areas Checked at OB Area:
-Sloat (first lot & second lot)
-Ft. Funston

Still some small oil spots here and there (very few) about a quarter or dime sized along the water line. Check any plastic or trash you see as the oil bonds to floating objects. Surfers are reporting they don't notice the water being oily.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Training For Volunteer Certification 11/14/07

Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Certification

  • Wednesday, November 14th
  • 6pm - 10pm
This training is endorsed by:

-Kill The Spill
-San Francisco Department of Emergency Management

I Would Stay Out of The Water

Although this is historical data dating back from Sunday 11/11/07, it is enough to keep me out of the water.

Information From SFPUC:

Sunday, November 11, 2007 6:40 AM

Due to high rainfall last night, all three Combined Sewer Discharge structures along Ocen Beach overflowed intermittently between 8pm to 2am this morning. All beaches are already posted due to the Cosco Busan oil spill.

This reporting is based on bacteria levels only. Sunday's samples exceeded water contact standards, so samples were again collected yesterday (Monday). We'll get those results back this morning, and hopefully be able to depost the beaches then. The best way to check current water quality conditions in SF is to call the Water Quality Hotline at 1 800 SFBEACH, or check the following website

Here's A Good Step Towards Prevention

We all know this is a bad situation with the oil spill. Friends of the Earth put together a petition to end bunker fuel use. Please go to their on-line petition and take action.

Thank you to everyone for all your efforts, more updates to come.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend is Over - Guest Writter

THANKS to all the amazing volunteers!!

KILL THE SPILL is working!

There were over 500 unofficial volunteers who came to Taraval Street to clean up Ocean Beach (OB) today. They came from all walks of life, from all over the place, of all ages, all there to clean-up oil and KILL THE SPILL.

Lisa and her crew from came through again with heaps of oil absorbent “hair mats” to supply a waiting army. Local sponsors and individuals donated bags, gloves, food, shoes, and an eclectic array of kitchen/cat instruments to help in the effort. However, the most vital donations were time, enthusiasm, and positive energy.

A core team prepared an army of new volunteers who showed up help. We formed an assembly line to prepare the mats, distribute supplies, educate new volunteers, and send them out to the beach. Compassionate volunteers hit the beach gloved and running to sop-up as much oil as possible and put it in trash bags along the beach.

We distributed “to-go” kits to folks who wanted to help other areas. Surfers came inquiring about Deadmans, swimmers came worried about Aquatic Park. However, it was not just people who go IN the water who showed up. Some volunteers did not even know exactly where the ocean was! They came from the Sunset, the Richmond, Presidio Heights, the Mission, SOMA, Pacifica, New York, and even a couple from Tibet. Everyone dealt with toxic bunker oil fumes because they care about the environment. A huge number of strangers worked together as a well-oiled machine, driven by their individual intent to help out in a bad situation.

There was no official central command center, no one to approve/deny anything; everyone simply used judgment towards a common goal. As this mass of armatures filled hundreds of bags of oil, the official response team was at the other end of the beach. I saw them yesterday in the rain, conducting an initial training (3.5 days after the spill). They were in rain suits, hard hats, and life jackets armed with rakes. There were about 25 of them prepping to hit the beach. However they did not have appropriate materials (no hair mats or absorbent material) thus were pretty inefficient. They were too small in number to make a significant impact on anything expect their immediate area (The Beach Chalet/VFWs). Nevertheless, this crew of contracted cleaners from SoCal was friendly and helpful. They coveted our “hair mats” and shared their rain suits. Kudos to those guys who clean this shtuff up on a regular basis! Welcome to San Francisco! We are glad you are here.

We understand that several other areas are CONSIDERABLY worse off than Ocean Beach and do not criticize the allocation of resources. However, I believe that there has been and will be an insufficient amount of official clean-up resources at OB. Unfortunately, due to the impact of this spill across the Bay Area and finite official resources, this situation is not likely to change. We saw some positive action from the officials at the EPA today who organized training for our renegade crew and anyone else tomorrow at the Irish Center here in the Sunset. We are grateful for their efforts to enable us to help. Overall, my guess is that we will need volunteers to continue to help for weeks.

There were some moments of depression among the crew today regarding the official investigation and clean-up response. The situation with the pilot and the alcohol test is so absurd it is humorous. No one has seen an official clean up crew south of Gate 22. We still have bags of oil sitting on tarps, covered as best we can, waiting for the official HAZMAT team to remove. Some uneducated people continue to use the beach for recreation due to a lack of signs. Others do not clean-up properly or dispose of the oil in inappropriate places. We have aways to go before we are out of the woods.

However, the overall attitude today was amazing. This is a totally grass-roots effort. By leveraging friends and some key emails lists (Surfrider Foundation, Acqua Surf Shop, Save the Waves , and a handful of activists have created critical mass. Note that these organizations were in NO way officially affiliated with our group because they would never engage in potentially illegal activity!

Despite an overwhelming task in difficult conditions (toxic, windy, cold) with limited supplies there was never frustration or distress. Everyone lifted each other up, to rise to the task at hand, and make a difference. It made me proud to live in this neighborhood and to have such as compassionate, honorable, and competent group of friends.

All the volunteers should (and I’m sure they will!) sleep very well tonight.



Saturday, November 10, 2007

SF Ocean Beach Cleanup For Sunday

Ocean Beach Cleanup
  • Sunday 11/11/07
  • Taraval & Great Highway
  • 2PM
Wear your old clothes and plan on getting dirty. Rubber/latex gloves are useful. We do have some supplies, but showing up prepared or with extra can always help the cause.

~Worker Bee

OB Beach Cleanup Saturday 11/10/07 12:30 UPDATE

We are now at Judah Street and Great Highway.

Come on down to help out!

We have supplies, can always use more!

Wear your old clothes!


Friday, November 9, 2007

OB Beach Cleanup Saturday 11/10/07

Today was a success! A great big thank you to all the volunteers and

Here is what we have now:

8:00 am
Meet at The Great Highway and Noriega.

Meet at The Great Highway and Taraval.


Please bring gloves and heavy duty bags if you have them.

Thank you everyone, especially The Chalet for donating 2 kegs! :)

Please blast and pass this information to all!!!


OB Beach Cleanup Friday 11/9/07


Great Highway and Noriega - Friday 2:30-into dark

We have oil absorption pads, bags, gloves and headlamps.


cat litter scooper if you have or can get some (sounds weird, trust me here).

We will work in teams of two, one pads the other scoops and carries (we will explain and demonstrate).

Although sportsbasement has helped us significantly and this is an "unofficial" cleanup. Please DO NOT enter the store to request information. This could put them in bad positioning in this cleanup.