A large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean has reached the Southern California coast, causing dead fish and birds to wash ashore in Huntington Beach.
On Saturday, around 3,000 barrels — or about 126,000 gallons — of oil spilled off the California coast, posing what Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr called a "potential ecological disaster," per CNN.
The oil is currently leaking from Platform Elly, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said in a tweet. Foley added that the leak is around five miles off the coast of Huntington Beach.
In a follow-up social media statement, Foley added that dead marine life have begun to wash up on land as she shared photos of oil appearing on the beach.
Significant ecological impacts in HB.
o Oil has washed up now onto the HB beachfront.
· We’ve started to find dead birds & fish washing up on the shore.
o @Calwild has a hotline for wildlife impacted from the oil. Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6926. pic.twitter.com/rtgExxTXZj
— Supervisor Katrina Foley (@SupervisorFoley) October 3, 2021
The oil spill was first reported to the U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday, the organization confirmed in a tweet. Huntington Beach officials also said during a news conference that they are now telling individuals to refrain from going near the water and not to swim, surf, or exercise by the beach, KCBS reported.
Individuals who come across wildlife that have been affected by the spill should not approach the animals and should instead contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6926.
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The cause of the major oil spill isn't yet known. Huntington Beach announced in a press release that the Coast Guard "is the lead agency coordinating the response into the spill incident, and the investigation into how the spill occurred."
As of Sunday morning, "the leak has not been completely stopped," Huntington Beach added in their statement. "Preliminary patching has been completed to repair the oil spill site," however, and "additional repair efforts will be attempted," the press release stated.
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The final day of the Pacific Airshow has also now been canceled due to the spillage.
"Due to an oil leak off of our coast, the City of Huntington Beach has made the decision to cancel the final day of the 2021 Pacific Airshow scheduled for Sunday, Oct 3rd," event organizers confirmed.