Oil spill recovery continues in California

By: Sierra Wells

Multimedia Journalist

After a large oil spill in Southern California caused damage to the ocean’s ecosystem, California residents have attempted to recuperate from this environmental disaster.

Based on the recovery efforts, the USC Sea Grant Program reports that the amount of oil retrieved from the ocean through Oct. 24 reached 5,544 gallons. San Diego County and Orange County will continue cleaning the shoreline; however, the collection of oil from the water has been halted.

Residents return to the water at Newport Beach, California.
Photo Courtesy of Associated Press.

The well-being and preservation of wildlife has been a significant concern throughout the restoration process. According to the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Oil Wildlife Care Network, as of Nov. 1, a total of 116 birds have been recovered, 82 of which were dead. In addition, out of the seven mammals recovered, six were found dead. The single reptile recovered was alive.

An Oil Wildlife Care Network worker cleans the oil off a bird that was impacted by the California Oil Spill.
Photo Courtesy of UC Davis.

Tarleton Agricultural Communications major Kaitlyn Timmons appreciates the procedures taking place to salvage what is left of the ecosystem on the Southern California coast.

“It’s good that they made the effort to go in there and try to remove what they could and rehabilitate the animals that were affected,” Timmons said. “I feel like that’s happened a lot, the oil spills, but as long as they go back in there and try to cover up and clean up, I feel like that’s a really good effort to save what wildlife was affected.”

According to AP News, permission to swim and surf on the coast has been reinstated.

Due to the possible contamination of fish from the oil spill, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife ordered that no fishing may be conducted off the Orange County shores for the first six to 12 miles.

In an effort to help the many small businesses that were negatively impacted by the oil spill, on Oct. 27, the U.S Small Business Administration officially announced that the federal government would provide low-interest loans as disaster assistance to those in Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego who apply before July 17, 2022.

Workers in Huntington Beach, California work to cleanse the beach of oil contamination.
Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press.

On Nov. 2, environmentalists announced that the Center for Biological Diversity plans to sue the federal government, which they claim neglected to update or review the plans for the California coast platforms.

The Oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity Miyoko Sakashita said, “It is not lawful for them to just continue on with these really old development and production plans.”

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