Huntington Beach reopens one week after oil spill

Huntington+Beach+lifeguard+tower+two+overlooks+an+oil+drilling+site.+The+beach+reopened+after+a+drilling+site+off+the+coast+released+about+126%2C000+gallons+of+oil+into+the+water+on+Oct.+3%2C+2021.+Photo+credit%3A+Vincent+Medina

Huntington Beach lifeguard tower two overlooks an oil drilling site. The beach reopened after a drilling site off the coast released about 126,000 gallons of oil into the water on Oct. 3, 2021. Photo credit: Vincent Medina

Vincent Medina

Huntington Beach reopened its shores one week after a pipeline burst and released approximately 126,000 gallons of oil into the water. After coastal ocean and wetlands water quality testing showed there were non-detectable amounts of harmful oil toxins.

Surfers took to the water to ride the waves, as many surfers favored Huntington Beach for their sport.

“They cleared the beaches so it’s safe to return,” said Newport resident Nate Wilson as he prepared to head towards the beach.

Wilson read the testing results that show the water is safe for recreational swimming and surfing.

Cleaning crews continue to sweep the shore to check for harmful objects or chemicals.

While Wilson and his fellow surfers agreed the beach was safe for swimming, they also stated that they disapproved of the oil drilling off the coast.

“[The oil drillers] should go deeper so this doesn’t happen again,” said Huntington Beach resident and surfer Levi Lowrance. “Maybe they should find a better spot to drill. That way it won’t affect so many people if it happens again.”

Huntington Beach resident and surfer Pedro Goite took an optimistic approach, saying how the beach looked better after the cleaning.

“The sand looks and water looks cleaner than it did before,” said Goite. “It was probably better that nobody was in the water for the week.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to lead the cleanup effort and ensure the safety of people and surrounding wildlife.