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    National Seashore California

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Point Reyes Beaches Littered with Oily Material on Tuesday, April 17, 2001

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Date: April 18, 2001
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135

The United States Coast Guard, Point Reyes National Seashore, California Department of Fish & Game Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and National Marine Sanctuary personnel are involved in investigating the apparent discharge of an oily substance along Drakes Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore. The oily material lines the high tide line along scenic Drakes and Limantour Beaches. The material was first sighted on Tuesday by park visitors and staff.

The material has been collected by the U.S. Coast Guard and park rangers and samples have been sent for analysis. The National Park Service and U.S. Coast Guard hope to identify the material and the possible source of the contaminant. Coast Guard contractor crews will be on-site today to remove the material from park beaches.

Drakes and Limantour Beaches are utilized by hundreds of thousands of park visitors each year. The offshore Gulf of the Farallones is considered one of the most productive marine areas in the world. Because it is part of Point Reyes National Seashore and the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, marine discharges of any nature are prohibited in the area.

-NPS-

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Deathcap Mushrooms © John Lennie

Deathcap mushrooms are found throughout the Point Reyes region and are the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. But they're fairly new arrivals here. They invaded the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1930s, likely brought over on cork trees from Europe for the wine industry. More...