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County-Operated Beaches In Dana Point Reopen, But Harbor Remains Closed To Boat Traffic

DANA POINT (CBSLA) — Orange County reopened its beaches in Dana Point Thursday, but the harbor remains closed a week after an oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach.

Salt Creek Beach, Strands Beach, and Baby Beach – which are all operated by the county within Dana Point Harbor – were reopened at 1:30 p.m. However, Capistrano Beach and Poche Beach remain closed due to construction, and Dana Point Harbor remains closed to boat traffic, according to county officials.

The reopenings come less than a week after an estimated 144,000-gallon oil spill into the waters off Huntington Beach. Crude oil apparently leaked out of a 13-inch gash from an ocean floor pipeline that may have been hooked and dragged by the anchor of a cargo ship. The oil spill prompted the closure of beaches from Huntington Beach to Dana Point, and tar balls have been spotted as far south as San Diego County.

Cleanup efforts continue up and down the Orange County coast, and the county says members of the public who venture back out to the beach should expect to see Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams and work crews in protective gear monitoring, inspecting, and cleaning the beaches. Beachgoers should also avoid any contact with any visible oil on the beaches.

Newport Beach Harbor also remains closed to boat traffic. Boaters should instead head for Huntington Beach Harbour or Long Beach Harbor.

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