On Sunday, roughly 5 miles off the shore of Huntington Beach, a pipe burst, leaving beaches covered with dead fish and birds, according to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley.
26,5000 gallons of crude oil were estimated to have leaked into the sea, destroying beaches. More oil is expected to wash up this week, according to officials.
Thick, pancake-sized chunks of oil can be seen littering the shoreline in photos and videos taken in the area. Black dirt had smeared many of those who helped rescue birds. Fish and bird carcasses washed up on the beach early Sunday morning, according to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley.
Foley added that a pipe leak roughly 5 miles off the shore of Huntington Beach had caused the destruction.
Amplify Energy, a Houston-based oil and gas business owns the pipeline: “”We are fully committed to being out here until this incident is fully concluded.” According to Martyn Willsher, President and CEO, the corporation is working with local, state, and federal officials to clean up the incident.
“Our employees live and work in these communities, and we’re all deeply impacted and concerned about the impact on not just the environment, but the fish and wildlife as well,” Willsher worried and added, “We’ll do everything we can to get this back to you as soon as possible and we’re not going anywhere until it’s done.”
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr called the spill a “potential ecological disaster,” “Our wetlands are being degraded and portions of our coastline are now covered in oil.” “In the coming days and weeks we challenge the responsible parties to do everything possible to rectify this environmental catastrophe,” Carr said.
Oil and gas exploration, according to environmentalists, is far too risky.
Offshore oil and gas drilling should be prohibited, according to Oceana, an ocean conservation group. In a statement, Oceana’s policy director, Jacqueline Savitz, said: “This is just the latest tragedy of the oil industry. It’s well past time to prevent future oil spills by permanently protecting our coasts from offshore drilling.”
Miyoko Sakashita, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s oceans program said “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,” She added that it has long-lasting effects on the breeding and reproduction of animals. It was really sad to see this broad swatch oiled.”
Officials in Huntington Beach have postponed the final day of the Pacific Airshow and are advising residents to avoid the Santa Ana River Trail, Talbert Park, and Talbert Marsh areas, as well as beaches in the affected area, to avoid coming into touch with potentially dangerous oil.
Residents should avoid the area, according to Foley.
“Please don’t come down to offer assistance. We’re not currently accepting volunteers “she explained. “Call 1-877-823-6926 if you see any oily wildlife. That is the most effective means of assisting.”