Laguna Beach, CA – The City of Laguna Beach, in coordination with other Federal, State, and local agencies, continues to closely monitor and anticipate impacts from the 126,000-gallon oil spill impacting coastal Orange County. Therefore, effective tonight, Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 9:00 p.m., all Laguna Beach City Beaches will CLOSE to the public. 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.
Though the spill has not yet reached the shoreline of Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Marine Safety, Fire, Public Works, and Police personnel are anticipating this may happen and are ready to respond. Beach closures are needed to protect the health and safety of the public and to allow contractors to begin oil cleanup if such an event occurs.
Currently, the oil slick plume is estimated to be approximately 13 square miles in size and is primarily located off the coast of Newport Beach with a smaller section located off the Coast of Laguna Beach. Given the oil spill impacts, the ocean is closed from the Huntington Beach Pier to the Santa Ana River Jetty. Beta Offshore is responsible for the spill and is working with the Incident Management Team on repairs and cleanup efforts. The cause of the oil spill is under investigation.
The US Coast Guard is the lead agency coordinating the response to the oil spill incident. A unified command has been established and consists of Beta Offshore, the US Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Supporting agencies are the cities of Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The Orange County Emergency Operations Center has been activated.
The OC Health Care Agency issued a health advisory today to recommend those who may have encountered the contaminated materials to seek medical attention. For general inquiries regarding health-related questions regarding this oil spill, please call (714) 834-2000.
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has also set up the Oiled Wildlife Care Network hotline, which can be reached at (877) 823-6926, for individuals to call if anyone sees wildlife impacted from the oil. Please do not approach affected animals. Public volunteers are not needed and could hinder response efforts. To assist with future cleanup efforts, please visit cleanups.surfrider.org.