The stretch of Southern California shoreline affected by an oil spill has grown, officials said Monday.
An estimated 126,000 gallons of leaked heavy crude oil has now impacted the nearly 25 miles from Dana Point to Huntington Beach, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley tweeted. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are situated between the two.
The offshore oil pipeline being investigated as the source of the leak has been shut down and suctioned, according to Amplify Energy Corp., which owns the company that operates the pipeline.
The city and state beaches at Huntington Beach were closed, and the city of Laguna Beach, just to the south, said late Sunday that its beaches also were shuttered. The shutdown came amid warm weather that would have brought big crowds to the sand for volleyball, swimming and surfing. Yellow caution tape was strung between lifeguard towers to keep people away.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said the beaches of the community nicknamed “Surf City” could remain closed for weeks or even months. The oil created a miles-wide sheen in the ocean and washed ashore in sticky black globules.
Newport Harbor was closed to vessel traffic to prevent oil from entering the harbor, according to a Newport Beach statement.
Fisheries in the affected area were also closed “to give time to investigate any impacts to fish,” Foley said.
“Avoid fishing off piers, bridges, boats and docks, too,” she added. A map showed waters up to 6 miles from the shore could have been tainted by the spill.