Laguna Beach, CA – The City of Laguna Beach continues to work with federal, state, and regional response entities to assess and mitigate the impacts from the 126,000-gallon oil spill affecting coastal Orange County and the City of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach Marine Safety, Fire, Public Works, and Police personnel are all assisting with spill response efforts.
Currently, all City and Orange County beaches within the City of Laguna Beach remain CLOSED until further notice. The City is asking that all individuals remain clear of the beach and pay close attention to any closure or warning signs posted at or near beach areas.
For individuals with questions or concerns related to the oil spill, please see information below:
It is unclear as to how long the ocean and shoreline closure will be in effect, or how long the oil spill clean-up efforts will take. While the overall clean-up efforts are being led by the Coast Guard, in Laguna Beach, our local response efforts are focused on two main priorities: protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors; and preventing ecological harm to our Marine Protected Area by mitigating the oil spill impacts on our precious coastline.
“With the entire Laguna Beach coastline designated as a Marine Protected Area, we have some of the most fragile and environmentally sensitive beaches and ocean waters in Southern California,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “We have been working nonstop since early Sunday with state and federal officials to ensure that the City receives the resources that we need to protect our beaches from incoming oil and to clean up the oil that does get through. While it may take some time, we commit to do whatever it takes to make sure that our beaches and tidepools are returned to the pristine quality that Laguna’s residents and visitors expect and enjoy.”
Small oil clusters are washing up on Laguna beaches and beach closures are needed to protect the health and safety of the public and allow contractors to begin oil cleanup. Two contracted oil recovery vessels or “skimmers" have been working the Laguna Beach area since Sunday evening to prevent as much of the oil from coming ashore as possible, as well as a large response skimming vessel that made a pass this afternoon. Members of the Coast Guard’s Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) team are onsite and partnering with our Marine Safety officers to assess all our beaches/coves to allow for the allocation of appropriate resources.
“I strongly urge everyone to comply with the beach closures for health reasons and to allow clean up efforts to begin,” said Laguna Beach Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow. “There will be future opportunities for volunteers to help but we are not yet at that point as the extent of this spill and its impact to Laguna Beach is still unfolding.”
We will continue to update the community on our oil spill monitoring and clean-up efforts and provide additional details as they become available in the future.