The oil spill off the Orange County coast is a California tragedy. I've heard from many people who, like me, are heart-broken to see this. When I toured the area on Sunday, you could clearly see from the air the wide impact of the discharge.
Here's what we know:
- A team of federal, state and local partners is working together to quickly stop the harm from this spill and restore our ocean waters, wildlife and beaches. Updated information can be found at Southern California Spill Response and Cal Spill Watch.
- The spill covered approximately 13 square miles located about 3 miles off the coast of Newport Beach.
- The maximum amount of oil discharged is not known yet. Officials are using a worst case scenario of approximately 144,000 gallons. A more accurate assessment from officials is underway to determine the exact number. So far, more than 5,000 gallons of oil has been recovered off the water and additional oil has been removed from 6 miles of shoreline.
- 350 trained personnel are working on cleaning additional beaches. By this weekend, that number is expected to increase to 1500. Members of the public who would like to learn about opportunities to volunteer can visit Cal Spill Watch.
- Rescued birds have been cleaned and given health assessments with the goal of full rehabilitation. If you see oiled wildlife, you should not attempt to capture them, but should report the sightings to 1-877-UCD-OWCN (This # is solely for wildlife response.) The latest information on impacted wildlife can be found on the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine website.
- Many Orange County beaches, waters and fisheries remain closed. Please check with your specific beach area before planning a visit.
- If you have a third party claim stemming from losses resulting from the oil spill, you may learn more about filing a claim at 1-866-985-8366.
As California takes bold steps to move away from our reliance on oil and gas to fight the climate crisis, we cannot allow environmental tragedies like this to occur during our green transition.
I want to thank the U.S. Coast Guard, federal, state and local agencies, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the countless volunteers helping with our critical response.
I'll continue to update you as we learn more about this tragedy. We won't stop until our work is done.
Assemblymember, 70th Assembly District