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HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 03: Fish swim in oil contaminated water on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity. (Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)

Photo by: Nick Ut

Nick Ut

California Oil Spill Wreaks Havoc on Wildlife

By: Discovery

A devastating oil spill caused by a pipeline failure off the coast of Orange County, California has sent 126,000 gallons gushing into the Pacific ocean.

October 04, 2021

At 9 AM local time Saturday, October 2, a pipeline failure caused the equivalent of 3,000 barrels of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA. A 13-mile oil slick has encroached upon the shoreline, closing beaches and infiltrating the Talbert Marsh ecological preserve. The total spillage is at around 126,000 gallons, which was confirmed to be the max capacity of the pipeline by a Chief Executive at Amplify Energy, the owner of the pipeline.

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Oil is washed up on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity.

Photo by: Nick Ut

Nick Ut

Oil is washed up on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity.

The full impact of this spill is yet to be determined. The clean-up effort is underway, but dead birds and fish have already started to wash up onshore. Mayor Kim Carr of Huntington Beach stated at a press conference on Sunday that ​​this spill is “one of the most devastating situations our community has dealt with in decades.” She also detailed that the beaches will be closed until further notice.

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Rocks are coated with oil washed up near Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular Great Pacific Airshow with authorities urging people to avoid beaches in the vicinity.

Photo by: Mario Tama

Mario Tama

The US Coast Guard is overseeing the cleanup efforts, and as of Sunday night, under 4,000 gallons of oil had been recovered. In a joint statement with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Coast Guard notified the public to contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926 if they encounter oiled wildlife.

Though this pales in comparison to the 3-million-gallon oil spill of the late 1960s that occurred a few hundred miles north in Santa Barbara, this spill is another reminder of how these ecological disasters impact our planet and its living beings.

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