More than 300 seabirds were killed and hundreds more were injured and rescued in the 2015 Alameda Seabird Massacre.* The dead bodies were first noticed in mid-January, but the massacre began three months before, in October, 2014, when an almost invisible toxic spill entered San Leandro Bay and went unnoticed by observers and first-reponders. This blog is about how it happened, what it means and what to do about it.
I fear that San Leandro Bay has entered a new era of catastrophic ecological risk due to Alameda's toxic lagoon effluent and climate change. In this blog I discuss how the combined effect of deepening of the Oakland ship channel and a build-up of sediment caused by drought has shifted tidal currents, drawing toxin-laden lagoon effluent through San Leandro Bay, historically a haven for migrating seabirds.
This public blog will raise awareness about Alameda's October 2014 Invisible Toxic Spill,when a plume of greyish-tan sludge was observed and reported by two upstanding citizens of Alameda but first-responders failed to act upon. Two months later, the dead and dying bodies of hundreds of waterfowl around Alameda's shores were found caked with a similar grey gooey material, and a bird-rescue non-profit's budget has been severely drained.
I propose that the plume of foamy sludge we saw in October was responsible for January's Mystery Goo massacre. (See my April 13, 2015, post "Continuing Evidence of a Lethal Surfactant" for an explanation of my theory on how Alameda's prevailing tidal currents dragged toxic effluent from Alameda's lagoons repeatedly through San Leandro Bay, coating the birds' bodies with layer-upon-layer of a lethal surfactant.)
To date, April 8, 2014, the mystery of the Bird-killing Goo has yet to be solved.
They don't come here any more.
Image 1y, depicts the degradation of marine habitat near the dock. The center image of the night heron (Hilda) was taken September 12, 2013, thirteen months before the plume discharge. The rocks at "Hilda"'s feet are rich with a healthy population of barnacles and seaweed.
The background photo of pale rocks, barren compared with the center image, was taken in late March, 2015. The degradation of marine habitat since Septermber, 2013, is clearly apparent. It's no surprise why Hilda and Snowy don't feed here anymore.
I investigated the plume. This blog follows my progress.
*A.M. Webster Dictionary:
massacre - noun
1. the unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of a large number of human beings or animals, as in barbarous warfare or persecution or for revenge or plunder.