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United States

4 Oct 2021

Massive California Oil Spill Destroys Wetland & Marine Wildlife

The Index Today

A broad strip of the southern California coastline was covered with oil slick after 3000 barrels spilled in the Pacific Ocean. Locals are witnessing countless dead animals, birds and fish being washed up on the shore, calling it an “environmental catastrophe.”

The U.S Coast Guard has taken charge of the cleaning up process which will involve several state-level and city agencies. According to reports, the oil spill has covered approximately 13 square miles of the ocean and has mostly affected the beachside city. The oil spill was connected to the Elly oil rig which is located from Huntington Beach pier to Newport Beach. This area is hugely popular among surfers and sunbathers during peak season.

All coastal areas from Huntington Beach to Dana point have been closed for fisheries. U.S representative Michelle Steel sent a letter to the President to ask for help and seek a declaration of major disaster for the area. This would in turn help divert funds to help with the cleaning up efforts.

Democratic governor Gavin Newsom has stated he wants to completely ban oil drilling in the state in the upcoming years. The state has seen a decline in oil drilling, especially after the oil spill of 1969 near Santa Barbara which caused major destruction to the surrounding coastline.

Many leading oceanic and conservation groups have called for a ban on oil drilling after the recent catastrophe. Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana’s chief policy officer stated, “this is just the lasts tragedy of the oil industry. It’s well past time to prevent future oil spills by permanently protecting our coasts from offshore drilling.”

The U.S Coast Guard, with the help of other local and state agencies are working hard to assess the oil spill and begin clean-up processes. So far, around 3,150 gallons of oil has been recovered from the sea in the area. Investigation to determine the exact cause of the spill is still underway.

©Photo: Los Angeles Times

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