Several large chunks of tar-filled particles were washing ashore along Newport Harbor due to oil from a massive spill off the coast of Orange County early Monday. The spill has shut down Newport Harbor and could threaten Crystal Cove, State Park.
First reported on Saturday morning, Saturday’s spill is believed to have been caused by a rupture of a pipeline connecting the Port of Long Beach to the Elly oil platform on the seafloor. About 126,000 gallons of oil gushed into the Catalina Channel due to this pipe failure, causing a large slick to spread out to about 8320 acres. Long oil stretches have been left on the sand in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Huntington Beach.
As a result of the spill, fish and birds are being killed, and some of the ecologically vital areas of wetlands are in danger. Environmentalists are calling the spill a catastrophe.