Cosco Busan Restoration Work About to Begin

The final report summarizes impacts from the November 2007 oil spill and describes restoration projects, which trustees will begin to fund this spring.

A final report has been issued by state and federal trustee agencies involved in the $44 million settlement by the owner and operators of the M/V Cosco Busan, and it summarizes the environmental impact and describes restoration projects that will begin soon.

The Cosco Busan was a tanker that struck the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, 2007, puncturing a fuel tank on the ship from which 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil spilled into the bay. The settlement was announced in September 2011, and since then the agencies have considered comments about a draft restoration plant and have finalized the plan, which allows funding of the projects to start this spring.

The trustees include the California Department of Fish and Game, California State Lands Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. They estimate the spill killed 6,849 birds and oiled 3,367 acres of shoreline habitat.

The plan details how $32.3 million will be spent on restoration projects and recreational use improvements. The restoration projects include marsh, beach, and mudflat habitat improvements at Muir Beach, Albany Beach, Aramburu Island, and South Bay Salt Ponds; creation and improvement of bird roosting and nesting habitat at Berkeley Pier, Tule Lake, Farallon Islands, and South Bay Salt Ponds; and restoration of eelgrass, native oyster bed, and rockweed at multiple sites.

Copies of the Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan are available at www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/Science/cosco_busan_spill.aspx or by contacting Steve Hampton at 916-323-4724 or shampton@ospr.dfg.ca.gov.

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