Oil from a major drop from the Orange County coastline was headed south from Huntington Beach starting Monday, sending pieces of tar to the coast, forcing the closure of Newport Harbor and threatening Crystal Cove State Park.
The dumping, first reported Saturday morning, began with a pipeline running from Port Beach Port to an oil resort known as Elly. The failure caused about 160,000 oil companies to enter the Catalina Channel, creating a fine stretch of about 3,030 hectares. The dumping has left oil on the long sand dunes in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach, killing fish and birds and threatening territorial authorities in what authorities are calling environmental hazards.
Oil is likely to continue affecting the coast of Orange County for days to come, officials said. Laguna Beach closed beach resorts Sunday night after speculation revealed a break-in to Crystal Cove by 10 p.m. The beach is now closed. Officials said on Monday they were seeing evidence of oil off the coast of Laguna, especially the sand dunes north of the city.
“These are different. Lots of oil spans range from a magnitude of four to a patch of forest, ”said Kevin Snow, director of maritime security at Laguna Beach. “Coastal closures are needed to maintain health and public safety and allow contractors to start refining oil.”
The Crystal Cove on the coast had not yet mentioned any oil as of Monday, but officials say it could change depending on the sea level throughout the day.
A few miles north, Newport Beach officials shut down the city’s entertainment center Monday morning in an effort to cut down on oil, city spokesman John Pope said.
“We don’t have oil in there right now, so it’s very important to keep the oil from entering the station,” Pope said.
Softball-size clumps washed up on the beach between the mouth of the Santa Ana River and 52nd Street. Most of the remaining pieces reach quarters of a mile along the coast, said the Pope.
Newport Beach did not close its shores, but officials have asked people to stay out of the water. The Orange County Health Care Agency released a health advisory Sunday recommending that those who are likely to be exposed to oil in the water seek medical attention.
In Laguna Beach, officials say tarmac-sized golf courses have been cleared of Crescent Bay, a lake known for any running distance of miles and miles where Cliff Drive intersects the North Coast Highway, and Shaw’s Cove.
Two approved oil tankers known as merchants worked off the coast of Laguna Beach overnight to prevent as much oil coming ashore, as Snow said.
“The whole city is a protected marine area, which means we have the expertise to live in the sea and wildlife here are protected, and we need these endangered natural resources,” he said.
The Coast Guard is continuing to recover as much oil as possible. Fourteen ships operating on Sunday afternoon had recovered about 350 gallons of oil from the sea and placed 5,360 feet of floating barriers known as bombs in an effort to protect the sea, according to the US Coast Guard.
Oil was also continuing to bathe on the beach in Huntington Beach starting Monday.
The five-and-a-half-mile stretch of Huntington Beach from Seapoint Street near Bolsa Chica ash to Newport Beach design on the Santa Ana River jetty remained closed Monday as workers continue to clean up.
In Huntington Beach, which was responsible for the oil incursion Sunday, crews sent two hundred-foot[2 m]hoses to try to stop and protect wildlife sanctuaries, including Talbert Marsh, a 25-acre ecological reserve from Huntington State Beach home to many species of birds. Local leaders have also built blue sand dunes in the area to protect seawater and oil from continuing to flow into the area, which has already been broken by oil. Officials on Sunday asked more brigades to protect the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
Officials are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash and say the timing of cleaning the area’s belts is unclear.
“I am saddened to share the news that the oil spill is expected to reach Laguna Beach tonight,” the Society’s wife, Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) said last Sunday. “Our coalition partners, provincial and regional are working all night trying to reduce this dramatically.”