State officials have lifted the mussel and shellfish harvesting closure for Crown Memorial State Beach.
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG), in consultation with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), lifted the last closure after testing found no ongoing significant risk of adverse health effects from the Dubai Star oil spill on San Francisco Bay. The closure was first imposed on Oct. 30, along with several others for the Alameda County shoreline, following the spill. No closures remain in place.
OEHHA advises the public to continue to avoid harvesting and consuming mussels from the shoreline on the west and south sides of Ballena Boulevard. There are elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in mussels from that area that require continued monitoring. The test results suggest that mussels from the Ballena Bay area have been exposed to an additional contamination source unrelated to the spill.
“We’re pleased that testing has found no significant health risk from consuming mussels and shellfish due to the oil spill,” said OEHHA Director Dr. Joan Denton. “However, due to elevated levels of mercury and other chemicals, we recommend that anglers should include mussels and other shellfish as they follow the existing San Francisco Bay and Delta region fish consumption advisory.”
The advisory is available at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/general/sfbaydelta.html. It recommends that women of childbearing age and children should not eat more than one meal of Bay fish per month. Women beyond childbearing age and men should not eat more than two meals of Bay fish per month.Mussels are a keystone species in the nearshore environment throughout the spill area and are locally important for subsistence users. They provide prey for harlequin ducks, black oystercatchers, juvenile sea otters, river otters and many other species. Mussel beds are also important components of intertidal habitats because they provide physical stability and habitat for other organisms in the intertidal zone..............................................."The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual".....John Muir