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    Albany beach cleaned, but rocks remain tainted, and waterfront still closed

    oil spill 1Photo by Linjun Fan

    Twenty specially trained workers cleaned the Albany beach Sunday, though countless tainted rocks remain.

    The workers of NRC Environmental Services Inc., an Alameda-based company, came to Albany’s beach Sunday morning and finished the cleaning by early afternoon. Wearing protective suits and two layers of gloves, they picked up the oil sludge by hand, put it into plastic bags and carried them away by dumpsters.

    But the large splashes of tar on the rocks near the beach and along the mile-long shoreline were not cleaned. Getting rid of the oil spill on the rocks will require much harder work, since the spill is getting hardened and the rocks are spread out in a mile-long shoreline.

    Cleaning-up of the rocks has not been scheduled, according to Ann Chaney, Albany community development director. Cleaning crews did not return Monday.

    Meanwhile, at least 10 oiled dead birds were collected from the Albany shoreline by East Bay Regional Park District staff Sunday. Several dozen live ones were rescued.

    “You have to sneak on them. They are terrified, ” said Katherine Cody, a homeless person living on the Albany Bulb who has saved more than a dozen.

    “They are terrified because something awful has happened to them and they don’t know why. And now they are grabbed by this huge thing. “

    Cody said she saw hundreds of oiled birds suffering on the waterfront. They were covered in tar from head to toe.

    “They are trying to wash themselves, constantly, shaking, plucking on their feathers. These ones are absolutely the miserable, ” Cody said.

    No other wildlife along the shoreline has been found dead, and the shoreline no longer smells strongly of oil since Saturday’s rain.

    The beach and the East Shore State Park remain closed, and it’s not yet known when they will be open to the public.

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