Nov. 22, 2007
The headline read “Oil Spill Fouls Shores in San Francisco Area.”
58,000 gallons of bunker fuel, the most toxic and least-distilled of petroleum products, gushed from a container ship in San Francisco Bay late last week, impacting beaches up to 20 miles north of the entrance to the bay.
The full extent of the damage done to the San Francisco Bay, the coast and the wildlife that live there has yet to be fully assessed, and perhaps never will. But if we here on the North Coast needed yet another reason not to pursue a container port for Humboldt Bay, this is one to seriously consider.
Humboldt Bay has one of the most treacherous port entrances in the Pacific Northwest. The container ship responsible for the San Francisco spill was same size vessel that would be negotiating the jaws of Humboldt Bay’s mouth to off-load its container cargo.
It would be just a matter of time before one of those massive container ships ended up perched upon the South Jetty, coating the bay and coast in an oily goo. It is not a matter of if, but when, it would happen.