Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed through late December 2013. More »
2013 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
Minor Globs of Oil Found at Point Reyes National Seashore since November 16, 1997
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Superintendent Don Neubacher reported that, since Sunday, November 16, thick oil globules called tar balls have begun showing up on the beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore. These tar balls are typically fist size or smaller, comprised of fresh, heavy, black oil. The oil was first spotted by visitors and National Park Service staff along Drakes Beach on Sunday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard immediately responded, investigated the situation, and collected oil samples.
Approximately 23 live oiled birds have been picked up at Point Reyes, 25 dead oiled birds have been seen, and approximately 40 more live, oiled birds were observed. Many sensitive and threatened species are at risk including snowy plovers, brown and white pelicans, northern fur seals, elephant seals, and harbor seals. Surveys of beaches began Sunday and will continue to occur with crews under the guidance of Point Reyes National Seashore, California Department of Fish and Game's Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
If you see an oiled bird, do not attempt to remove it. Please call 800-228-4544 or notify a ranger of its location and the time when you saw it. The source of the oil is unknown and is currently under investigation.
Did You Know?
Climate scientists warn that the safe upper limit for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations is 350 parts per million (ppm). For most of human history, atmospheric CO2 rarely exceeded 275 ppm--until the industrial revolution. As of 2013, atmospheric CO2 was ~396 ppm–-and rising 2 ppm/year. More...