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Major Southern California Oil Spill Defiles Beaches, Wreaks Havoc on Wildlife

(The AEGIS Alliance) – One of recent Southern California history’s most extensive oil spills that have defiled prominent coastlines and killed wildlife while workers scurried on Sunday to contain the fossil fuels prior to it spreading out even more and seeping into protected wetlands.

A minimum of 126,000 gallons of crude oil has spilled and spread into the ocean and beaches of Orange County, the City of Huntington Beach tweeted.

“The spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands,” the city’s press release pointed out.

The crude oil has resulted in a spill spanning for miles into the sea and has washed up onto land in sticky, black blobs in addition to the deaths of birds and fish. Worker teams directed by the U.S. Coast Guard have begun utilizing skimmers and floating barricades called booms to make an effort to cease additional incursion into area wetlands along with the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

A foul odor of oil flowed through the air in the region, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said.

“You get the taste in the mouth just from the vapors in the air,” Foley stated.

Beach closures extended from the Huntington Beach Pier for virtually 4 miles south to the Santa Ana River jetty in the middle of prime summer weather that would’ve attracted beachgoers to the large area for volleyball, to go swimming in the water as well as surfing. Yellow caution tape has been rolled out around lifeguard towers to keep folks out of the area.

Officials called off the final day of the yearly Pacific Air Show which normally attracts thousands of fans to Huntington Beach, a city that consists of around 199,000 residents around 30 miles south of the downtown area of Los Angeles. The event showcased flyovers by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as well as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The slick of crude oil came from a busted pipeline linked to an offshore oil platform called Elly, Foley pointed out on Twitter. Elly is linked through the pathway to one more platform, Ellen, situated about 8.5 miles off the shores of Long Beach and is run by Beta Operating Company, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement indicates. Beta’s parent company is based in Houston, Texas named Amplify Energy Corporation.

Foley stated Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery informed her that he came across the oil slick while he took a boat trip back to the mainland from Santa Catalina Island “He saw dolphins swimming through the oil,” Foley said.

The statement by Huntington Beach on Sunday morning pointed out that “while the leak has not been completely stopped, preliminary patching has been completed to repair the oil spill site,” along with extra repair work that has been prepared.

The oil spill comes after 30 years of a huge oil leakage that struck the very same area of the Orange County shorelines. On February 7, 1990, an oil tanker called American Trader had run over its anchor off Huntington Beach, resulting in a spill of almost 417,000 gallons of oil. Fish and around 3,400 birds had died because of that spill.

In 2015, a burst pipeline north of Santa Barbara spilled 143,000 gallons of petroleum flowing onto Refugio State Beach.

At a press conference on Saturday evening, Orange County officials conveyed worries regarding the ecological effects of the spill and were hoping workers would be able to end the oil spill prior to it streaming right into vulnerable wetlands.

“We’ve been working with our federal, state and county partners to mitigate the impact that could be a potential ecological disaster,” Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr stated.

The location is home to imperiled and threatened species consisting of a plump shorebird named the snowy plover, the California least tern as well as humpback whales, a fishing market, and also seasonal birds on the Pacific Flyway.

“The coastal areas off of Southern California are just really rich for wildlife, a key biodiversity hot spot,” stated Miyoko Sakashita, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s oceans program.

The impacts of an oil spill are extensive, conservationists stated. Birds subjected to oil on their plumes are unable to fly, cannot wash themselves off, and cannot track their own temperature levels, Sakashita pointed out. Whales, dolphins as well as various other ocean animals may have difficulty breathing or even perish after swimming into the oil or breathing in hazardous fumes, she stated.

“The oil spill just shows how dirty and dangerous oil drilling is and oil that gets into the water. It’s impossible to clean it up so it ends up washing up on our beaches and people come into contact with it and wildlife comes in contact with it,” Sakashita stated. “It has long-lasting effects on the breeding and reproduction of animals. It’s really sad to see this broad swatch oiled.”

Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.

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