Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday after meeting with state, federal and local officials overseeing the cleanup. The proclamation makes additional state personnel, funding and equipment available.
About 770 workers joined cleanup crews on the water and along beaches to mop up the damage - a job said most of the spilled oil will never be captured and eventually will dissolve into the water. Concentrated globules could remain for months and cause problems for seabirds.
At least 60 birds were found dead while 200 live birds were recovered and sent to a rehabilitation center in Solano County.
State wildlife officials said they have received hundreds of reports of oiled birds found on Bay area beaches, two dozen of which were closed after tides carried the oil under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Pacific Ocean.
Most of the injured birds are surf scoters, a duck-like species that lives on the water's surface and dives for fish. When oil gets on their feathers, it disrupts their waterproofing system and ability to stay warm, forcing them on shore where they are at risk of starvation.
"Oil and feathers don't mix," said Yvonne Addassi, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game. "We're in a time crunch. The birds can only stayed oiled for so long before they can no longer be rehabilitated."
Fish and Game officials said the fuel generally stays on the water's surface, and they had not seen any evidence that fish have been harmed - though they are concerned that the spill could affect bay herring that spawn at this time of year.
Bay Area fisherman want the governor to officially close the commercial and sport crabbing season on the California coast from Point Arena to the Mexican border until the waters are deemed safe, said Larry Collins, vice president of the Crab Boat Owners Association.
The sports season started on Nov. 3 and the commercial season was slated to start Nov. 15.
The crabbers said the oil spill does not harm the crustaceans, who dwell deep on the ocean floor. The oil harms crabs when they're transferred to the live tanks in which are housed after being caught. Collins said crabs brought in by some fisherman on Saturday were dead on arrival.
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