News and Activities

Apex Houston Oil Spill Restoration

Date Posted: August 23, 1999

The restoration project for common murres on Devils Slide Rock is in its fourth field season this spring. The Devils Slide Rock murre colony, which once contained approximately 2,900 nesting murres, was eliminated in 1986 when the transportation barge Apex Houston discharged approximately 20,000 gallons of crude oil while in transit from San Francisco Bay to the Long Beach Harbor. A restoration project involving the use of decoys, recorded calls, and mirrors to entice murres to return to Devils Slide Rock was initiated in 1996 by the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, with funding from the Apex Houston Trustee Council. Six pairs of murres nested in 1996, 9 pairs in 1997, and 14 pairs in 1998. This year, 40 pairs had laid eggs by May 17, 1999, and as many as 30 other pairs were present and may lay eggs. The project is making great progress toward the Trustee Council's goal of attracting 100 pairs of nesting murres back to Devils Slide Rock.

Dan Welsh (916)979-2110

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Contaminants Program: Oil Spills

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Common Murre Restoration Project

Last updated: June 12, 2015