Oil spill closed these popular beaches
As authorities scramble to contain a spill that leaked about 126,000 gallons of oil into Orange County waters, towns along the coast are telling people to avoid their beaches.
In Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, closures and advisories have been issued to deter people from coming into contact with potentially contaminated water. The spill was likely caused by a pipeline leak at a facility operated by Beta Offshore. The United States Coast Guard is leading the cleanup effort.
The following beach closures and advisories have been issued:
- In Huntington Beach, municipal authorities have closed beaches between the Santa Ana River Pier and Seapoint Streetsaying a timeline for when the ocean and shorelines might reopen — or how long the cleanup might take — is unclear at this point.
- Officials in Newport Beach, where oil was seen on the beach between 52nd Street and the Santa Ana River, are advising people to stay out of the ocean. The city’s beaches remain open, “with the water advisory in place,” according to a news release. On Monday morning, authorities closed Newport Harbor in an effort “to help keep oil out,” city spokesman John Pope said in an email. Boats will not be able to enter or leave the port, but will be able to operate inside, he said. Bayside Beach is also closed., which is located in the port. County officials said discussions about possibly closing more ports south of Newport Beach are ongoing and boaters should prepare.
- All county and city beaches at Laguna Beach have been closed to the public and city officials are asking people to stay away “and pay close attention to any closures or warning signs posted on or near the beaches,” a statement from hurry. Oil had not yet been seen on its shore on Sunday, although authorities were preparing for it.
The Orange County Health Care Agency on Sunday issued a health advisory, encouraging people who may have come into contact with the oil to seek medical attention. County health officer Dr. Clayton Chau advised the public to stay away from activities near beaches “such as swimming, surfing, biking, walking, exercising, gathering, etc. .”