- While Huntington Beach has reopened to its beach and surfing crowds, the cultural and economic impacts of the early October oil spill remain mostly unknown.
- California has lost more than 91% of its historic wetlands, and some of the surviving 9% live in Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA.
- The Oiled Wildlife Care Network, a statewide agency that cares for wildlife after impacts from oil, says 47 of 77 oiled birds recovered from the area have died, along with 11 oiled fish.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – As sheets of oil washed on shore, the mayor of this surfing hub made a dire forecast: The community could be looking at an environmental disaster that could linger for years.
The reality, fortunately, appears less grim after the U.S. Coast Guard announced last week that the early October spill is estimated to be only about one-fifth of what was initially feared. Officials had reckoned up to 144,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Pacific Ocean; the new estimate is closer to 25,000 gallons.
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Read More: Huntington Beach oil spill could have been a disaster for ‘Surf City’.