By the time Governor Newsom declared the state of emergency, Huntington Beach had already closed much of its shoreline due to the oil spill, and Orange County Health Officer Clayton Chau was urging people against swimming or gathering near affected beaches, since the vapors from the oil could be spread by the wind. Local officials are prepared to close more beaches, and perhaps Dana Point Harbor.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife also announced a ban on fishing and collecting shellfish on the night of October 3, as a result of the spill. The ban is in effect from Huntington Beach to Dana Point.
Oil has been seen washing up on the shores of Laguna Beach, Crescent Bay, and Shaw’s Cove, and as far south as San Diego County.
The Newport Beach recreational harbor was closed on October 4, and Laguna Beach’s chief of marine safety, Kevin Snow said the cleanup efforts were desperate.
“The entire city is a marine-protected area, which means we have sensitive marine habitat and wildlife here that is protected, and we need resources to protect this unique ecosystem,” he told the LA Times.
In Huntington Beach alone there were more than 2,000 feet of booms deployed to prevent the oil from spreading further into Talbert Marsh, an ecological reserve that spans more than 25 acres across from the beach. More than 3,000 gallons of oil were recovered from the waters in the first 48 hours of cleanup efforts.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said the county is building a sand berm to keep the oil from intruding further.