Massive oil spill in California's Orange County causes destruction of marine life
- The Huntington State Beach houses several species of birds and marine animals
- Over 58,000 gallons of fuel was spilled into the bay which severely affected marine life
- A 5.8-mile oil plume has been identified which runs from the Huntington Beach Pire to Newport Beach
A broken pipeline, which was connected to an offshore platform known as Elly, has spilled over 126,000 gallons of crude into the coastal water which seeped into the Talbert Marsh. This led to the officials deploying floating barriers known as booms in order to prevent the spread.
The major spill in the Orange County spoiled beaches, threatened local wetlands and caused the death of several fish and birds.
The shoreline of the Huntington State Beach smelled strongly of diesel and tar. A large stretch of sand from the pier to the Newport Beach city line had to be closed due to dead birds, fish and lumps of oil begun to wash up on the shore.
The Huntington State Beach houses several species of birds such as gulls, willets and reddish egret which are a rare sight on the west coast as per Ben Smith, a biologist and environmental consultant.
The spill is certainly going to have a huge impact on the habitat and has already resulted in the death of more than 6,800 birds. Over 58,000 gallons of fuel was spilled into the bay. The platform Elly was put in place in the federal waters off the Los Angeles County in 1980.
A news conference held on Saturday night consisted of local officials who expressed their concerns about the environmental impact of the spill. Huntington Beach’s Mayor Kim Carr told the reporters, “We’ve been working with our federal, state and county partners to mitigate the impact that could be a potential ecological disaster,”
Later, a jury indicted Plans All American Pipeline on 46 charges and the company was made to pay over $60 million and change its operations.
The administration has not approved offshore oil drilling in federal waters since 1984 which has sparked a debate on whether the government should allow new oil drilling off the California coast or not.
A 5.8-mile oil plume has been identified by the officials which runs from the Huntington Beach Pire to Newport Beach. Several people are working to contain the damages.