Southern California oil sheen cleaned up, no recoverable oil left

Officials announced over the weekend that there was no more recoverable oil left off the Southern California coast.

A sheen was reported off the Southern California coast, but no recoverable oil remains in the water according to officials. 

The cause of the sheen remains unclear.


Driving the news: Approximately 85% of the sheen, which was about 2.5 miles long, was recovered by crews near Huntington Beach.

  • By the time flights were conducted over the area, there was no longer any recoverable sheen visible.
  • There were some clumps of tar along the beach, but it did not warrant a closure, and there seemed to be no public health threat from consuming fish from the area.
  • Three live birds – a cormorant, a loon, and a grebe – were found sullied with oil and are being treated.
  • There were no reports of spills or leaks from oil platforms operating offshore, and the sheen did not appear to be growing, suggesting it could be a one-time discharge or natural seepage of oil in the ocean.

Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Brahm 

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