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Newport Beach, Dana Point Harbors; Laguna Beach's Sand Reopens

LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA) — County-beaches in Laguna Beach reopened Friday morning – but only for the sand.

beaches reopen
(credit: CBS)

County officials say the sand is back open at Aliso Beach, Laguna Royale Beach, Table Rock Beach, Thousand Steps Beach, and West Street Beach. The shoreline and the water remain closed at these beaches, along with Aliso Beach's parking lot, which is serving as a staging area for cleanup efforts.

The Laguna Beach reopenings come a day after several beaches within Dana Point Harbor reopened.

The beach reopenings come about a week after a pipeline off Huntington Beach was apparently dragged and damaged, spilling a large quantity of oil into the ocean, prompting the closure of a large stretch of the Orange County coast. The oil spill was first reported to be 126,000 gallons, an estimate that later grew to 144,000 gallons – but authorities now say it could be smaller that initially feared. But even if the oil spill is confirmed to be smaller than first reported, crude oil has still seeped into ecological reserves like Talbert Marsh, covered several protected seabirds, forced the cancellation of events, and impacted businesses still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The harbors in Newport Beach and Dana Point reopened boat traffic at 3 p.m. Both were closed on Monday by order of the U.S. Coast Guard to help keep oil from entering harbor waters.

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