1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill
The 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill occurred when two Standard Oil tankers, the Arizona Standard and the Oregon Standard, collided on January 19, 1971, in the San Francisco Bay. The resulting 800,000 gallon spill, the largest in Bay Area history, threatened sensitive natural habitats both inside and outside the bay, including the Bolinas Lagoon, and contributed to the growth of activism against pollution, after thousands of bay area residents volunteered to clean up beaches and rescue oil soaked birds. A number of environmental organizations had their origins in the spill cleanup. Standard Oil utilized more than $1 million dollars in the clean-up.
Inception of International Bird Rescue and volunteerism 
The resulting environmental destruction from the spill, specifically the avian population, prompted volunteers to rescue some 4,300 birds. At this time, knowledge on how to care for birds in such health was low. As a result and despite efforts, only 300 or so animals were ever deemed fit to be released. The remnants of this volunteer force eventually resulted in the creation of the International Bird Rescue in an endeavor to increase knowledge and research in bird rescue. One of the largest volunteer turnouts since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake came of this event.
See also 
- Cosco Busan oil spill
- List of oil spills
- John Francis, an environmentalist whose career began with the spill
- "After 30 years, tankers safer but spills still a threat". The Associated Press. 19 January 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Jay Holcomb (18 January 2011). "International Bird Rescue – Every Bird Matters» Blog Archive » Remembering the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill". Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Nels Johnson (9 November 2007). "Marin's biggest oil-dumping nightmare came in 1971". Marin Independent Journal (MediaNews Group, Bay Area News Group). Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Photographs of the spill at SmugMug
- 40th anniversary blog at the International Bird Rescue Research (founded at the time of the spill)
- "The early bird gets the oily bird", a first hand account of the volunteer bird cleaning efforts at FoundSF
- PRBO Conservation Science originating in the spill
- PBS film of work constructing oil barriers at Bolinas Lagoon during the spill