The sheen off the coast of Huntington Beach is no longer visible. Photo: USCG

The sheen off the coast of Huntington Beach is no longer visible. Photo: USCG

The Inertia

No recoverable oil remains of the sheen that was reported in Huntington beach on Friday. Though flyovers have confirmed that there is no longer any visible oil, the origin of the sheen remains unclear.

The sheen was first detected Thursday night, around 2.8 miles off of Huntington Beach. On Friday morning, offshore recovery assets were mobilized in order to clean up the phenomena. They recovered around 85 gallons of oil product from the ocean, constituting around 85% of the spill, according to a written statement from the Coast Guard. In addition, about 800 pounds of oily waste and tar balls were removed from the shoreline.

After flying over the site again on Saturday, responders were no longer able to detect the sheen. “As such, offshore recovery assets will be demobilized,” continued the statement. “Shoreline cleanup teams continue to observe tar balls along the beaches in Huntington Beach and will continue to remove them as needed.”

The Coast Guard added, “With offshore recovery concluded the on-water safety zone is no longer in effect. There are no beach closures, but the public is advised to avoid contact with tar balls along the shoreline.”

As of Sunday morning, three oiled live birds that were recovered: a Brandt’s cormorant, a common loon, and a western grebe. The cormorant died in care overnight, along with an un-oiled snowy plover that was also captured.

An investigation into the cause of the oil spill is still ongoing. The nearby Platform Elly, belonging to Beta Offshore, had in fact reported a discharge of produced water on the morning of March 8. However, the Coast Guard wrote that, “The characteristics of the produced water from Platform Elly do not align with what was observed from the sheen. Currently, we do not believe the sheen and the discharge are related.”


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