Oil Spill of the Coast of Huntington Beach

Oil spill spreads devastation to economy, wildlife, and community.


Last week a detrimental oil spill took place off the coast of Huntington Beach, a beach in California. At least 5,544 gallons of oil and 13.6 barrels of tar balls were recovered from the water. Officials state that possibly 131,000 gallons of oil were spilled into the ocean. This oil spill proved to have incredibly disastrous effects on Huntington Beach’s economy, wildlife, and the overall community.

This oil spill had disastrous effects on the Huntington Beach economy as many beachside business owners were forced to temporarily close their businesses. Many business owners in Southern California were frustrated to have to close, however, they acknowledge that it is important to recognize the health and safety of residents and visitors as the top priority. Being an economy driven by tourism, even once allowed to open up their businesses again, the shop owners report the continuation of struggles as the oil spill has repelled many tourists from visiting Huntington Beach.

Beach forced to shut down due to oil spill

The oil spill also had a major impact on wildlife. The Oiled Wildlife Network reported 38 birds found dead and 65 birds total impacted by the spill. Attorney General Rob Bonta states, “The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach is an environmental disaster with far-reaching consequences for our fish and wildlife, for our communities, and for our economy.”

On Monday during a media briefing, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the California Department of Justice is investigating the oil spill. Various levels of the government (the state Department of Justice, federal, state, and local authorities) are working together to find the cause of the spill. In a statement, the Department of Justice claims the goal is to determine whether the spill could have been avoided or at least less drastic.

Officials believe the crack may have formed a year ago when something deflected off of the pipeline for almost 105 feet. According to the chief of the office of investigations and analysis for the US Coast Guard, Jason Neubauer, the deflection led to damage on the pipe’s casing, ultimately resulting in the crack. It is likely that a ship’s anchor dragging the floor of the Pacific Ocean led to the 13-inch crack.

Neubauer claims that the crack could have started off very small and progressively got worse as time passed resulting in the pipeline’s linear fracture. On Thursday, the Coast Guard released a video that revealed the damaged area of the pipeline (initially enclosed in concrete), to have significant marine growth. Additionally, the “heavy weather” in January may be a contributor to the crack. The National Transportation Safety Board Lad will be given a part of the pipeline so that they may determine the timeframe and cause of the leak.

The mayor of Huntington Beach, Kim Carr, reopened the beach after the results from water testing reported non-detectable amounts of oil-associated toxins in the water. Officials maintain that if going to the beach one must stay alert and keep watch for any odd smells or materials covered with oil. The beachgoers of Huntington Beach are eager for a safe return to their beloved beach and hope for a speedy recovery of the economy and wildlife.

sources: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/11/us/california-oil-spill-huntington-beach/index.html