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Huntington Beach Oil Spill: Beaches Shut Down To Laguna Beach, Newport Beach Harbor Closed To Boat Traffic

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Beaches and harbors remained closed Tuesday due to the massive oil spill in Huntington Beach.

The 126,000-gallon oil spill, which was discovered Saturday, has shut down a long swath of Orange County coastline until further notice. U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore says the oil plume is moving in a southerly direction, and has reached Dana Point.

The closures have already started to impact local businesses in Laguna Beach. Casey Simmons, a supervisor at C'est La Vie Restaurant & Bakery in Laguna Beach noticed the immediate impact the beach closures have had as the threat of oil particles washing ashore looms in Laguna Beach.

"I did have a table today, people checking out of the hotels. They made hotel reservations and they cancelled because they can't go to the beach," said Simmons. "Most of our business is people from the hotels."

Jennifer Elliot, the manager of a family run T-shirt business on Pacific Coast Highway, says that they've never seen such a dramatic drop in business in 40 years.

"Its affected business tremendously. We've been very slow all day long. I hope everything gets taken care of fast," said Elliot.

Marine safety officials say, so far, the coast is clear. They've spotted some small quarter size oil particles in the Crescent Bay and Shaw's Cove, but nothing that locals who were blocked by the sand could see.

"If I didn't know there was an oil spill, I would know there was anything," said local Diane Slessinger.

The impact that the oil spill has had on the local community stretches much further than just the restaurant industry.

"There are no people out today compared to how it normally is," said Christina Adams. "The commercial aspect is pretty terrifying for the merchant and restaurant community."

TIMELINE: Huntington Beach Oil Spill

Those closures include:

  • Beaches from Seapoint Drive south to the Santa Ana River in Huntington Beach
  • A "soft closure" for the water from Tower 44 to the Santa Ana River in Newport Beach
  • All beaches at Crystal Cove State Park. The Historic District remains open.
  • All beaches in the city of Laguna Beach, including county-operated Aliso Beach, Laguna Royale, Tablerock Beach, Thousand Steps Beach, and West Street Beach
  • Newport Beach Harbor and Bayside Beach in Newport Beach. Boats will also not be allowed to enter or exit Newport Beach Harbor and should instead go to Huntington Beach Harbor or Long Beach Harbor

RELATED: Resources For Huntington Beach Oil Spill Response

People are urged to stay away from the impacted beaches and avoid consuming fish or shellfish that had been caught in Orange County waters.


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