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Settlement funds targeted for cleanup in San Francisco Bay

State and federal agencies will use most of the funds from a $36.8 million settlement to restore natural resources injured by an oil spill that occurred Nov. 7, 2007 in San Francisco Bay and improve area recreational opportunities that the spill affected.

The funds are part of a $44.4 million settlement with Regal Stone Ltd. and Fleet Management Ltd., the companies responsible for the container ship Cosco Busan, which spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into the bay after it hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

“This funding will go a long way to restore the Bay Area’s wealth of natural resources that were severely damaged by oil released from the M/V Cosco Busan, and to enhance shoreline parks and outdoor recreation throughout the Bay Area,” Scott Schaefer, acting administrator for the California Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, said in a statement.

The trustee agencies, including the Department of Fish and Game, the California State Lands Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management, estimate that the spill killed 6,849 birds, affected 14 to 29 percent of the herring spawn that winter, oiled 3,367 acres of shoreline habitat and resulted in the loss of more than 1 million recreational user-days.

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