Samuel , FISM News
The U.S. Coast Guard is working tirelessly to clean-up a massive oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach in southern California that local officials say has the potential to become an ecological disaster. The oil flow stopped late Saturday, but the cause of the spill is still being investigated.
Since the spill was first reported Saturday morning, roughly 126,000 gallons (or 3,000 barrels) of oil have seeped into the Pacific Ocean, affecting a 13 mile radius. In response, the Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed all fisheries along the local coastline. The shoreline was promptly closed and the final day of the Pacific Airshow was also cancelled to avoid unnecessary interference in cleanup efforts.
“Our wetlands are being degraded and portions of our coastline are completely covered in oil,” Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said in a press conference. Carr said local beaches could be closed “from a few weeks to a few months.”
The spill reportedly originated from an oil rig operated by Beta Offshore, which is owned by Amplify Energy. Amplify President and CEO Martyn Willsher addressed the situation saying, “We will do everything in our power to ensure that this is recovered as quickly as possible, and we won’t be done until this is completed.”
Republican Representative Michelle Steel, who represents the area, sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting he issue a major disaster declaration for Orange County.
“It is imperative that the federal government assist in recovery efforts. Constituents who live along the shoreline are already reporting oil on the beach and strong odors,” Steel wrote. “Officials are already responding to protect sea life. Dead fish and birds are already being reported on beaches and shorelines. I have serious concerns about the environmental impacts of the spill and applaud the workers who are doing their best to prevent the oil from hitting sensitive wetlands.”