Oil spill causes massive ecological damage off California

Assessing the damage caused by the oil spill off California

Assessing the ecological damage caused by the oil spill off California

Dead fish and birds were strewn on the sand at Huntington Beach in California over the weekend after an oil rig pipeline was breached, causing massive oil spill.

An estimated 126,000 gallons had spread into an oil slick covering about 13 square miles of the Pacific Ocean since it was first reported on Saturday morning, according to Katrina Foley, the Orange County supervisor.

The oil slick now poses an ecological disaster as dead birds and fish are now washing ashore.

Oil spill cause irreversible impact

The spill came from the offshore oil rig Platform Elly, a unit of Houston’s Amplify Energy company. The spill has now fanned out over an area of 5.8 nautical miles.

“The impact to the environment is irreversible,” she said in a statement.

She said the spill was caused by a breach connected to the Elly oil rig and stretched from the Huntington Beach Pier down to Newport Beach, a stretch of coast south of Los Angeles that is popular with surfers and sunbathers.

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On Sunday, Foley said the oil had infiltrated the Talbert Marsh, a large ecological reserve, causing “significant damage.”

Beaches were closed to swimming and a local air show was canceled, although some people were undeterred from setting up chairs on the beach to enjoy a sunny Sunday or strolling along the pier.

Huntington Beach officials said they had deployed booms to prevent oil flowing into the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and the Huntington Beach Wetlands.

The U.S. Coast Guard, working with local and state agencies, flew airplanes to assess the spill and had hired contractors to clean it up.

Officials said they were investigating the cause of the spill and the type of oil involved.