(ReliableNews.org) – The state of California is home to some of the world’s most spectacular coastlines, complete with abundant wildlife. Sadly, a recent oil spill is threatening beaches and the overall ecosystem in famed Huntington Beach.
California officials first detected the massive oil spill on Saturday, October 2. The US Coast Guard reported the spill covered roughly 13 square miles and contained about 126,000 gallons of crude oil by Sunday.
Huntington Beach’s acting mayor, Kim Carr, told reporters the spill represents one of the community’s most “devastating situations… in decades.” She also vowed to hold the responsible parties accountable for damages as a result of the oil spill.
Coast Guard officials attempted to stem the flow of oil to beaches by surrounding the spill with more than 5,300 feet of floating barriers. However, oil still worked its way to shore, causing unknown amounts of damage to beaches and local wetlands.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said dead fish and birds had already started washing up on shore due to the spill. California Fish and Wildlife authorities say they hope for “minimal impact but are planning for the worst.”
Officials and volunteers plan to take affected animals to the nearby Pacific Marine Mammal Center and SeaWorld San Diego for rehabilitation.
The full scope of the oil spill’s environmental and economic impact remains unclear at this time. Marine biologists say it could take weeks to assess the extent of damage to wildlife. It also remains unknown when public beaches and shoreline activities will reopen.
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