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Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008

Prohibition on boat traffic lifted; boat washing still prohibited

Berkeley, California (Thursday, November 15, 2007) - Berkeley Marina boat owners were told today that the prohibition against boat traffic in and out of the harbor has been lifted. Because harbor and shoreline cleanup is ongoing, recreational boat owners are still asked to refrain from travel if possible. (Letter to Berkeley Marina Boat Owners and Prohibition Against Boat Washing )

Other Marina and Aquatic Park users are being reminded that because of the water contamination and the ongoing wildlife rescue and shoreline efforts, all recreational water sports such as small-craft sailing, canoeing and wind-surfing are suspended until further notice.

In other Berkeley response news:

Volunteer Effort: Saturday’s training is going forward as planned:

WHAT: Hazardous Material and physical danger training for 80-100 volunteers (First Come, First Served)

WHEN: Saturday, November 17, 8 a.m. – noon

WHERE: West Berkeley Senior Center, 1900 Sixth Street, Berkeley

“We’re pleased by the number of people who have come out to volunteer,” said City Manager Phil Kamlarz. “Due to the overflow crowds on Wednesday, we’re expecting a large crowd for Saturday.”

The City of Berkeley is hosting the training and is helping to deploy volunteers; the training itself is being put on by the California State Department of Fish and Game.

Volunteers who go through the training will be given badges that certify that they received this training and that allow them to work as disaster service workers. The training certification badges are good as long as Cosco Busan cleanup continues. Previously trained volunteers who have not yet received badges can report to the Shorebird Nature Center to receive them.

Off-Leash Dogs: Off-leash dogs have been prohibited in the marina, Aquatic Park and city shoreline areas while bird rescue efforts continue. Dogs are required to be on a leash no longer than six feet within 250 feet of the water. Prohibition Against Off-Leash Dogs (PDF)  

Birds who have been oiled are in danger of hypothermia if they go back in the water, experts say, so it’s important to try not to startle them while they are resting safely on the beach. Volunteers have been helping to spot injured birds while trained bird rescue personnel retrieve them, but the presence of dogs is scaring some birds back into the water.

No birds have been soiled at Aquatic Park, but several have gotten oil from the Bay and flown into the park, where they were rescued.

Emergency Proclamation: The City Manager proclaimed an official local state of emergency today. The City has been operating for the last week under the Governor’s emergency declaration of November 9, which covered the County of Alameda. The formal emergency proclamation will be ratified by the City Council at a meeting next week and will facilitate the City’s reimbursement claims. Berkeley Proclamation of Emergency (PDF)  

Testimony: The City Manager submitted written testimony at a hearing today held by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock. The testimony describes the preventive and responsive actions the City took in the wake of last Wednesday’s oil spill. (Berkeley Testimony for Natural Resources Committee Hearing-- Includes a history of the oil spill and the City of Berkeley's response.) 

Visit the City's Cosco Busan site for more information.



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