Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Tar Balls Wash Ashore Popular LA Beaches: Officials Consider Link to Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Energy

Mysterious clumps of tar washed ashore in California's South Bay Wednesday, forcing the area's beaches to close for swimming. The U.S. Coast Guard as well as state officials are now trying to pinpoint where the substance originated, and have not ruled out the devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara last week.

Seven miles of Southern California's most popular beaches, from El Segundo to the Torrance-Redondo Beach, were left sticky with the globs of oil that ranged from the size of baseballs to footballs, according to the Los Angeles Times

Investigators told the publication that the tar has moderate hazardous characteristics and is slightly flammable, and has tested positive for low amounts of volatile organic compounds.

Workers have since cleaned the area and officials said Thursday that clean-up efforts were successful. "There appears to be no new tar balls or anything additional to the amount that we have recovered thus far," U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Charlene Downey said.

A broken pipeline spewed oil into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday, creating an oil slick four miles long on some of the state’s most beautiful coastline at Refugio State Beach just north of Santa Barbara. Photo credit: Jonathan Alcorn / Greenpeace.

It is currently unclear if the tar balls are directly linked to the tragic 105,000-gallon oil spill on Santa Barbara County that caused California Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.

According to the LA Times, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is studying if it's possible for the substance to travel south from Santa Barbara.

“We have not ruled anything out,” Downey said.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

600 Rally in Opposition to LNG Exports

Why We Need to End Mountaintop Removal Now

Victory for Groups Fighting Proposed Tar Sands Facility as Full Environmental Review Now Required

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less