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)

1235691150

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.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 03: 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/Getty Images)

1235690930

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.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 03: 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/Getty Images)

1344650021

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.

Next Up

Let's Get Piggy With It — PIG ROYALTY Returns to discovery+

Lines are drawn and loyal allies become enemies as the fan-favorite series PIG ROYALTY returns discovery+ on Wednesday, March 16.

Female ‘Vampire’ Remains Discovered in 17th-Century Graveyard

Archaeologists have unearthed an extremely unusual burial ritual to prevent a return from the dead.

Your Guide to Fan-Favorite Series and Specials Making a Comeback This Spring... Shark Week Anyone?

Starting March 23rd enjoy HOURS of your favorite shows on Discovery, Science, and Animal Planet. From SHARK WEEK and MYTHBUSTERS to CRIKEY! IT'S THE IRWINS and more, scroll through to get the details.

World’s Largest Drone Superhighway Will Deliver Goods For Society

Drone deliveries will soon be a reality as the world's first automated superhighway is slated to begin operations in the UK by mid-2024.

Josh Gates is Taking Us Inside The Explorers Club

The Explorers Club and Discovery are partering on a new series TALES FROM THE EXPLORERS CLUB and celebrating diversity with The Explorers Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World that the World Needs to Know About.Plus, The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grants (ECDEG) is kicking off its second year of advancing and showcasing new expeditions, cutting-edge research, and scientific achievements to audiences worldwide.

Wildfires in Yosemite National Park Threaten Centuries-Old Sequoias

The Washburn Fire at Yosemite National Park is threatening over 2,000 acres of giant sequoia trees that have been in the park for centuries. Firefighters are racing to contain and manage the wildfire to protect the history park, its inhabitants, and ancient tree life.

NFL SUPER STADIUMS Follows the Epic Journey of Building SoFi Stadium

In partnership with the NFL, Discovery and Science Channel go behind the scenes and follow the remarkable journey of constructing SoFi Stadium in an all-new, two-hour special, NFL SUPER STADIUMS premiering Wednesday, September 9 at 8P on Science Channel and Saturday, September 12 at 11A on Discovery.

Robotrucks to Deliver New Era of Driverless Technology

Clear winners are hard to pick in the race to develop self-driving vehicles, but autonomous trucks have built a convincing lead. Robotrucks have completed thousands of automated journeys and the world appears to be braced for a new era of driverless delivery.

How to Keep Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks

With the expected firework displays and festivities of the 4th of July, pet owners know the holiday can be chaotic for their furry friends.Updated June 28, 2022

Human Composting Saves the Planet One Burial at a Time

Green or eco burials have become an alternative way to reduce the environmental impact of burying loved ones.