Orange County Oil Spill - What We Know & How You Can Help

  • Posted on 4 October 2021
  • By Angeles Chapter Updates
Thank you for your concern and willingness to help. We’ll be updating the page regularly with new information around the situation develops. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to stay up to date on the latest news. Support the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter.

Get Involved

The Sierra Club’s Orange County Conservation Committee is organizing a town hall event to educate, inform and mobilize our members and supporters to take action to protect our communities, coasts and climate. More information including how to RSVP can be found here.

The Big Picture

An oil slick in the Talbert Marsh near Huntington State Beach. By Peter Bennett

An oil slick in the Talbert Marsh near Huntington State Beach By Peter Bennett

Orange County, California, USA -- An estimated 144,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from an oil derrick pipeline in the Catalina Channel beginning likely Friday night. The oil spread to nearby Huntington Beach beaches and wetlands began to wash ashore late Saturday. Cleanup crews arrived at the scene Sunday. The Sierra Club is concerned about how the county handled the first hours of the oil spill with information suggesting a significant lag time between when public officials first learned of the spill and the decision to close beaches. 
The cause of the leak is unknown, though officials are looking into whether the pipeline was caught and dragged by a ship’s anchor dropped in the wrong spot. As of Sunday, the pipeline has been shut off, and Amplify energy, the company that manages the platform is investigating the matter. 
"We can have healthy and safe communities, thriving coastal economies, and a stable climate -- or we can continue drilling for oil. We can’t have both.”
Sierra Magazine writes that it's Past Time to Shut Down Offshore Drilling - Aging infrastructure and a bottom-feeding oil company caused the Southern California spill, but only because we let them.

How to Volunteer with Clean-Up Efforts

A cleanup crew mops up oil in the Talbert Marsh, home to many birds and wildlife. By Peter Bennett

A cleanup crew mops up oil in the Talbert Marsh, home to many birds and wildlife by Peter Bennett

Share your experience: Our allies at Orange County Coastkeeper have put together a survey to hear how people are being impacted.
Beach Cleanup: The OC Health Agency issued a statement Sunday warning residents to STAY AWAY from the affected areas and to seek medical attention if exposed to crude washed ashore. It added that “Public volunteers are not needed and could hinder response efforts.” Visiting the area is strongly discouraged as the oil contains numerous hazardous chemicals.If you find oiled or sick wildlife call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6962. People are being asked not to approach potentially affected wildlife, as you can cause more harm than good to the animals.
The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife is now accepting applications for trained volunteers to assist the trained spill response contractors deployed to survey affected areas and prevent oil from entering wetland habitats. 
Other ways to help: Donate supplies and money to assist wetlands and wildlife. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center | Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center


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