Just after 9pm on Tuesday, February 10th, the Alameda Fire Department responded to a report of a possible fuel spill in the water on the estuary. According to a Nixle community alert, “crews at the scene were able to see a product floating on the water, possibly fuel, in the Oakland Estuary. They were unable to determine the source of the product, or the size of involvement in the Estuary.”
The fire department then turned the matter over to Coast Guard, which apparently didn’t send response crews until Wednesday morning.
By that time, low tide had come at about 9:50pm on Tuesday evening, followed by high-tide at 4:31am on Wednesday morning.
That’s enough time for the tide to have agitated whatever substance was in the water, and spread it further throughout the estuary, said Barnhill Marina resident Liz Williams. Barnhill Marina is about 2 miles west of the first-detected spill location.
Neither Alameda Fire Department nor Coast Guard officials have responded to Action Alameda News inquiries about why a clean-up response waited overnight.
Williams gave Action Alameda News a tour of Barnhill over the weekend, and pointed to what she said were trace elements of the spill in the water.
She’s also been publishing photos on Facebook of traces in the water, and of dead birds in the water which she said may or not be related to the spill, but strike her as out of the ordinary.
Williams said that the Coast Guard did take two dead birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for testing.