DOINews: Cosco Busan Oil Spill Trustee Council Update

Last edited 09/03/2020

Cosco Busan Oil Spill Update-January 2015


Black Oystercatcher on Aramburu Island in Richardson Bay


In June 2014, Black Oystercatchers nested on Aramburu Island, the first breeding record for this species in Richardson Bay. This juvenile was photographed there by Robert Hinz.


2014 was a big year for restoration projects funded through the Cosco Busan oil spill settlement. Over $15 million, allocated to over 50 projects, was at work enhancing and restoring beaches and habitat around the Bay Area.

Highlight below a few of those projects. You can find more information about the spill, the settlement, the restoration plan and other links at

Muir Beach Recreation Improvements

Visitors to Muir Beach can now enjoy a new picnic area, a new pedestrian bridge and boardwalk to the beach, new trails, four new vault toilets (replacing porta-potties), and an improved parking lot. These improvements, combined with wetland and dune habitat restoration, were partically funded by the Cosco Busan Trustee Council and will enhance both the visitor's experience and natural resources at this beautiful beach.

Coyote Point Promenade

Walkers, joggers, roller skaters, windsurfers, kayakers, and other paddlers are now able to use a new pathway and three new launch ramps at Coyote Point Promenade. This project, near Burlingame, was also supported by the California Division of Boating and Waterways and the San Mateo County Park Foundation.

Rodeo Beach Access

An unsafe, ramshackle stairway at the south end of Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands was replaced with a more robust stairway designed to withstand coastal weather and occasional tidal action. The new stairway provides a safer and more enjoyable experience for numerous school groups and other visitors to south Rodeo Beach.

Eelgrass and Herring Restoration

Eelgrass is a critical, but diminishing, habitat throughout San Francisco Bay. It provides food for fish, shelter, and important spawning habitat for herring. Eelgrass beds also provide foraging areas for scaup and other diving birds. Efforts to restore eelgrass in San Francisco Bay received a boost in summer 2014 from Cosco Busan settlement funds. Using seeds and rootstock from donor beds elsewhere in the Bay, four acres were transplanted in Corte Madera and San Rafael Bays. The project will be expanded next year, with the ultimate goal of restoring 70 acres of eelgrass beds over nine years. Restoration sites will be focused on regions of the Bay where herring spawn regularly.

Marbled Murrelet Restoration

It was another good year for Marbled Murrelet productivity in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Summer 2014 marked the third year of employing Conditioned Egg Aversion in old growth forests around Butano and Portola campgrounds. The project seeks to increase reproductive success of murrelets by reducing jay predation on murrelet nests. In order to train jays not to eat murrelet eggs, hundreds of chicken eggs were painted to look like murrelet eggs, injected with a chemical that makes the jays throw up, and placed throughout the forest. Monitoring suggests the jays learn to avoid the eggs and may teach their offspring as well. Jay predation on murrelet nests can occur when the two species converge at campgrounds; the jays come for camp food crumbs left by visitors to the parks, while the murrelets nest high above in the giant trees. In summer 2015, the project will expand to Big Basin and Memorial County Park campgrounds.


Marbled Murrelet productivity has shown an increasing trend since the mid-1990's. This may be due to this project, on-going improvements in camper education and campground garbage control (funded thru the Luckenbach Oil Spills Trustee Council), and improved prey fish populations offshore. Further progress is needed to achieve a stable population.

Updates on Other Projects

These projects are also underway:
o Farallon Nest Site Construction
o Eden Landing Salt Pond Restoration
o Aramburu Island Restoration
o Surf Scoter Restoration in Richardson Bay
o Rockweed Restoration
o Over thirty recreational use projects


These projects are expected to begin in 2015:
o Albany Beach Restoration
o Native Oyster Restoration
o Marbled Murrelet Restoration at Humboldt Redwoods and
Grizzly Creek State Parks

Cosco Busan Trustee Council Budget

Amount Received $30,506,000
Total Allocated $15,753,351

Natural Resource Trustee Agencies

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California State Lands Commission
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Additional Resources






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