Sticky Situation

“Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying.
I have no doubt about that.”
Prosanta Chakrabarty

Sticky Situation

Hazmat teams clean up Redondo Beach as beachgoers sit and watch.

It saddens me to post this, but for the last few days, our beautiful Redondo Beach coastline has no sign of dolphins and no sign of whales. Even the pelicans and seagulls have disappeared.

Why? Because globs of tar and oil like substance washed ashore on Wednesday and impacted a 6.8-mile stretch of our beautiful California coastline.

Numerous agencies are working together cleaning up the mess as well as collecting samples to determine if it is a result of an oil spill or a natural occurrence.

This oil slick comes about a week after a ruptured 24-inch pipeline spilled oil into the ocean off Refugio State Beach, about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara. The pipeline, owned by Santa Maria-based Plains All-American Pipeline, was on land, and the oil flowed from a culvert into the waters.

Redondo Beach officials are asking residents to avoid contact with the water, wet sand and any materials that have washed ashore. Officials warn that the oil may cause skin irritation and long-term health effects.

Meanwhile on my walk this morning, there were flashing digital signs everywhere advising people to stay away from the beach. If you look at the photo I shot above, you can see two adults sitting in their beach chairs watching men in hazmat suits pick up toxic waste from the beach. A few yards away young children are in the water, while their parents sit on the sand. How stupid do you have to be to not follow blinking/flashing signs telling you to stay away from the beach? The wild life has more sense than humans and they can’t even read all the signs posted.

Most likely we will never know who and where these globs of oil came from. The oil companies will never fess up, because of the fines involved, unless of course we find them holding a smoking gun. Either way, it will take a half a century to recover from this sticky situation.

Shine On