A broken pipeline has led to an estimated 126,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Ocean waters near Orange County, prompting Southern California officials to rapidly race to contain the damage in one of the largest oil spills in recent memory.
The oil spill reached the shores of Huntington Beach late Saturday – five miles off the coast. Crews were able to remove more than 3,000 gallons of oil from the ocean off the coastline Sunday, according to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley.
Wildlife harmed by the oil was still emerging, with dead birds and fish washing ashore. Efforts to keep the spill from affecting any more sensitive marshland was ongoing. “We’re hoping we have minimal impact, but we’re preparing for the worst,” Christian Corbo, a lieutenant at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a public statement.
Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Sunday requesting a major disaster declaration for Orange County, noting government resources will be “imperative” for a “swift recovery.”
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She wrote to the president: “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.”
From workers in ocean water deploying barriers to birds’ homes turned black to waterways clogged with goop, here’s a look at the most devastating images from the disastrous oil spill:
Contributing: John Bacon.