Home News Beaches to Reopen in Huntington Beach Following Oil Spill – NBC Los Angeles
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Beaches to Reopen in Huntington Beach Following Oil Spill – NBC Los Angeles



The city of Huntington Beach and the California State Parks announced Sunday that they plan to reopen both city and state beaches in Huntington Beach on Monday. 

The beaches will reopen at 6:00 a.m., the city announced in a press release. 

The decision to reopen the beaches comes after coastal ocean and wetlands water quality testing results showed non-detectable amounts of oil associated toxins in the ocean’s water, the release said.

Citing health and safety concerns, and in partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency, the ocean and shoreline between the Santa Ana River Jetty and Sunset Beach were closed in response to the oil spill off the Huntington Beach coast. 

Since the initial report of the oil spill, the city and state have been monitoring the situation.

While the overall clean-up efforts are being led by the US Coast Guard, in Huntington Beach, the local response efforts focused on two main priorities: protecting the health and safety of residents and visitors; and preventing an ecological disaster by mitigating the impacts of the oil on the coastline and wetlands, the release said. 

As an additional safety measure, the City of Huntington Beach hired an independent contractor to provide ocean and wetlands water quality testing.

The contractor tested 40 different sites along the Huntington Beach coast and wetlands from the Santa Ana River Jetty through Sunset Beach, the release said.

All samples were tested for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) as a way to determine the levels of oil present in the ocean. 

The testing results for all but one of the 40 tested locations came back with a non-detectable amount of PAH and TPH. 

The only location where oil was detected was a non-toxic level located in the water just north of Warner Avenue. 

“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. We understand the significance our beaches have on tourism, our economy, and our overall livelihood here in Huntington Beach,” said Huntington Beach Mayor, Kim Carr. “It is important that our decision to reopen our shoreline and water be based on data and that we continue to monitor the water quality going forward.” 

The initial independent ocean water testing report can be found on the City’s oil spill webpage.

Officials said water quality testing will continue twice a week for at least the next two weeks, and those test results will also be published to the city’s oil spill webpage. 

With the reopening of the beaches, officials remind the public to utilize caution when visiting the beach. 

Given the oil spill situation and impacts, an ongoing advisory notice remains in effect for all beaches in Huntington Beach, the release said. 

Beachgoers are advised to avoid areas where an oil smell is present. 

Officials said it is expected to see oiled materials and tar balls wash up on the beach, and individuals are advised not to handle or ingest any oil materials. 

If you do see oil or tar balls on the beach, please contact beach clean-up teams at [email protected].



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