Oil Spill in Huntington Beach


Oil washed up on Huntington Beach sand. (Image courtesy of Raul Roa, LA Times)

Gabby Colocho

On Saturday, October 2, around 144,000 gallons of oil leaked into Huntington Beach. On Saturday, it was initially reported that around 126,000 gallons of oil were spilled. The oil spill was said to have been caused by a pipeline that was placed on the ocean floor. Because of this, all beaches in Orange County are closed. It is unknown how long they will be closed for. It is likely to be closed for anywhere from a few weeks to many months. The effects of the oil spill have been disastrous. Since Sunday, wildlife including birds and fish have washed up on the shore covered in oil. With all of these contaminated oceans, many animals are at risk of sickness or even death because the consumption of oil may cause cancer and neurological problems for many marine animals. 

“You can’t get wildlife back that are killed in this process, and some of the habitat [and] the plant species, they’re going to be impacted for years to come,” says Katrina Foley of ABC News. 

The extent of the effects that the oil spill will have on the wildlife in these beaches won’t be known until many weeks later. People who live in Huntington Beach have reported smelling oil as soon as they step out of their homes or when they open windows. 

“It feels like you have a thick coating in your mouth, if you’re out there too long. It’s definitely the vapors in the air, and they’re impacting the environment.”, says Foley. “We see how the oil spill has also now begun to negatively affect people in the areas and this won’t be good for the health of people.”

For many young people, this has been very emotional and discouraging because for them, it shows us that oil companies don’t care about the environment enough to make sure that things like this won’t happen. 

“I believe that the oil companies are not being held accountable for not maintaining or managing the oil pipes,” says Orlando Pineda (12).