Oil spill responses to be discussed at Bay Area forum 

As the world next Tuesday watches oil ravage Gulf of Mexico shorelines, a San Francisco nonprofit will be leading discussions about available improvements in oil spill prevention and cleanup practices.

United States coastlines rely heavily on ineffective 1960s-era oil spill containment equipment.

That reliance on outdated technology exacerbated the damage caused by the 2007 Cosco Busan container ship oil spill in San Francisco Bay. It’s reportedly having a similar effect in the Gulf of Mexico, where oil is spreading from an oil drilling disaster.

“Oil Spills in San Francisco Bay: Preparing a Better Response” is the name of a six-hour forum scheduled to be held next Tuesday at the Elihu Harris State Building Auditorium in Oakland. It was organized before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill occurred.

“This forum will discuss the findings and lessons learned from the Dubai Star and Cosco Oil Spill investigations and will examine the state of oil spill response in the Bay,” organizers wrote in a flyer. “How can we do better in the next one?”

Oil spill prevention and response measures will be discussed along with other topics.

Scheduled speakers include representatives of the California Coastal Conservancy Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

The forum is schedule to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Attendees can RSVP by contacting Debbi Egter Van Wissekerke at degtervanwissekerke@waterboards.ca.gov or 510-622-2304.

It’s being organized by San Francisco-based nonprofit Pacific Environment and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.

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John Upton

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