Petroleum Spill in Humboldt Bay

The oil spill is next to the boat ramp at Englund Marine.

Pontoons are containing the oil spill which is next to the boat ramp at Englund Marine. [Photo provided by a reader]

A little before 3 p.m., the Mary Stewart, a vessel, accidentally released petroleum into Humboldt Bay, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Hazardous Materials Spill Report. It stated that the Mary Stewart’s “automatic bilge pump came on and released material into the marina.” The amount released is unknown but it resulted in a 100 x 300 foot oil sheen on the Bay.

According to the Report, “The release is stopped and contained…Clean up is being conducted by harbor staff…Booms have been deployed for containment efforts.”

A reader tells us that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is monitoring the situation.



  • $1,000,000 fine per day.

  • Wendy Davis Windsor

    This was bound to happen sooner or later, hope this is something that will be resolved quickly. Are we prepared for a big oil spill? Hope it never happens, here, anywhere.

  • Accidents happen, let’s just hope never at the nuke plant.

    • what nuke plant?

      • The decommissioned one by king salmon, I would imagine it’s done more damage to the bay then any oil, it still had fuel rods and waste stored there awhile back but I don’t know if it still does, and it’s on a fault line.

        • Fuel rods and waste long gone and they’ve been actively decommissioning the sites over the past several years – my understanding is they are less than a year from completion

          • Good to hear, thanks.

          • No it is all still there. This is why they are widening 36 so a big rig can take it out the least populated route. Every time they bring in an empty truck it wrecks on the tight corners.

          • Amazes me how people can spew bogus information like this. Maybe you’ve confused decommissioning with removal of the fuel rods. They are stored onsite (with the possible exception of the three rods that went missing in 2004) with no immediate plan in place to move them anywhere.

          • Fuel rods are not gone!!!! They will never leave. They are on the hill in kascse

          • This says nothing about the fuel rods so I would have to go with the other comments above about them still be there since that would be the most notable item to be removed if they had been.


          • Fuel rods were encased in a 35 ft high “tsunami proof” mound on PG&E property. I heard this from someone who worked on it. I personally have my doubts as to how well engineered a 35 ft “tsunami proof” mound can be at almost sea level… Especially with very conservative tsunami estimates in California (After comparing data from Sumatra and historic tsunamis here, it seems Oregon’s projections are more realistic IMO). I hope they remove them at some point. If not, maybe Eureka’s ass is grass at some point.


              Yes the fuel rods are still there and it sounds like they will stay there indefinitely. In fact it sounds like PG&E is waiting for their contract to run out so it’ll be the government’s problem.

              When nuclear facility started getting built nobody thought ahead about what they would do with the highly contaminated radioactive waste that would come out of them, so about 40 years ago the government decided they had to step in and take responsibility for all the private Industries nuclear waste. well of course the government’s been dragging their feet and haven’t set up the proper facilities to contain all this nuclear waste, so now essentially it’s the government’s problem to create a facility to contain the nuclear waste produced by private nuclear power generation facilities, which they haven’t done. So the majority of nuclear waste is still being held on nuclear power plants sites around the country. There is one government ran facility in Ward Valley but I don’t believe is accepting new wast because it’s already been sued by local residents for contamination. The central location was going to be under the Yucca mountain in Nevada but that project has been tied up in litigation for decades because of local resident’s out cry. Essentially we really don’t have a place to store all this nuclear waste.

  • Coletta A Hughes

    A stiff fine and clean up charges are in order.

  • I’m now wondering if this spill has anything to do with Pacific Seafood??

    • it shouldn’t being the fish cone from out of the bay. But who knows

    • No it was a longtime local fishermen that had an accidental diesel spill overnight and now he’s looking at a million-dollar a day fine which will effectively bankrupt him completely.

  • Normally they pump the petroleum out once they’ve left the bay?

  • This is the Mary Stewart, the captain is Mark Morris.

  • Get a grip. Don’t start dny unfoud runners!

  • Extort and abate him!!!! Ruin his life,take his boat and sell it to a bigger corporation. That’s the new Humboldt way.

  • Maybe our county government will shut down fishing now ,let’s have no means of survival in Humboldt.lets just shut it all down . complete closing economics at all.

  • This hardly any oil at all when i was a kid thats all you sean in that dam warter is oil sliks

  • Yeah… maybe a beer can full of oil.
    Probably did more ‘environmental damage’ by putting out the floats.

  • The fuel rods are still there because there is no place to send them. The Nevada site has stopped accepting fuel rods years ago. Maybe we could send them to place in the backyards of all the Major Whiners who post on this blog.

    • Send them to the pro-nuclear types: engineers, useful pawns, etc.

      • Send them to the board of directors of the companies that made mad profit using the rods. Then they stick it to the customers and taxpayers to clean up their mess. In the case of the spent fuel rods nobody is cleaning up the mess, just abandoning them in place to be a problem for the next generation. Take the money and run.

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