Cosco Busan Oil Spill 10-Year Anniversary Photo Gallery

Thousands of birds died and shorelines were blackened after 53,000 gallons of oil spilled following Nov. 7, 2007 accident. This photo gallery shows some of the damage and recovery work as our staff at Richardson Bay swung into action amidst the arrival of wintering waterbirds and herring run to the sanctuary.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the worst oil spill in San Francisco Bay's history.  These photos show some of the damage this spill caused and the efforts of our staff at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary to rescue live birds, catalog dead birds and collect plant and soil specimens after the spill.  This anniversary comes as the Trump Administration pushes for increased oil drilling off the California coast. At his direction, the Commerce Department just completed a report outlining potential changes to allow oil drilling within national marine sanctuaries – including the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary just off the Golden Gate Bridge. The Department of Interior is currently studying removing restrictions on new offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf.  We will continue to fight to protect birds and the natural resources they rely on, including any new oil drilling off our shores or on public lands.  

Richardson Bay Staff transfer a rescued Surf Scoter to be transported to a wildlife rescue center
Oil covered rocks on the shores of Richardson Bay
Audubon California employee rescues an oiled Surf Scoter near the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary.
Audubon staff heading to retrieve oiled birds near the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
Oiled bird retrieved near Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
Map showing extent of spill and locations of oiled birds and oiled eelgrass as of November 12th, 2007
Audubon staff cataloging dead birds
Oiled beach near Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary at low tide

In the days following the spill, staff at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary swung into action to respond to the potential damage that the rapidly spreading oil slick might do to the sanctuary’s bird populations and habitat. The spill happened right in the middle of winter migration, meaning that it took place at the worst time and the worst place imaginable, as millions of waterbirds were arriving from the Arctic and Boreal forests to either spend the winter in San Francisco Bay or were stopping to rest and feed during their annual migration to central or South America – only to encounter oily water.

Read our full press release on the anniversary here.

How you can help, right now