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Sardine Clean Up Goes Into Day 3, Volunteers Needed

Dead fish float in the King Harbor area of Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 8, 2011 (AP Photo/The Daily Breeze, Brad Graverson)
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Things are still a little fishy in Redondo Beach's King Harbor, as the great dead sardine clean up goes into its third day. "The work was about half way done Wednesday with an estimated 35 tons of fish scooped up from the surface," reports the Daily News. Authorities estimate about 95% of the fish on the surface have been removed.

The goal is to get the dead fish out of the water before they decompose and pose potential threat to local marine life. “When the sardines do start to decay in such mass quantities, there's a bacteria [that grows] and consumes oxygen, which makes for a longer recovery for oxygen levels in the harbor,” Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan told Patch.

Redondo Beach officials say they estimate the clean up will cost them about $100,000. To get the fish out they are using vacuum methods, but are cautious not to do anything too disruptive to the harbor's bottom.

If you are interested in helping out, Heal the Bay is spreading the word that volunteers are needed to give a hand with the clean up:

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If you have some time to help, check in at the old Red Onion site, just north of the Cheese Cake Factory, 655 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach. There will be other volunteers there to direct you on how you can help from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Even a couple hours will make a tremendous difference. Water, food and sunscreen will be provided to volunteers. No experience or supplies are required -- only enthusiasm.

The sardines showed up unexpectedly in King Harbor Monday morning. They most likely suffocated and died en masse while using the Harbor as an escape from a spring storm at sea. The retrieved dead fish will be sent to Victorville to a company who will convert them into fertilizer.