Here’s what beaches and harbors are closed as officials work to contain massive oil spill

As officials work to contain a spill that has leaked an estimated 126,000 gallons of oil into Orange County waters, cities along the coast are telling people to steer clear of their beaches.

In Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, closures and advisories have been issued to deter people from coming in contact with potential contaminated water. The spill was likely caused by a pipeline leak at a facility operated by Beta Offshore. The United States Coast Guard is leading clean-up efforts.

The following beach closures and advisories have been issued:

In Huntington Beach, city officials have closed beaches between the Santa Ana River Jetty and Seapoint Street, saying a timeline for when the ocean and shorelines might reopen – or how long the cleanup might take – is unclear at this point.
Officials in Newport Beach, where oil has been seen on the beach between 52nd Street and the Santa Ana River, are advising people to stay out of the ocean. City beaches remain open, “with the water advisory in place,” according to a news release. On Monday morning, officials closed Newport Harbor in an effort “to help prevent oil from entering,” city spokesman John Pope said in an email. Boats won’t be able to enter or leave the harbor, but can operate inside it, he said. Also closed is Bayside Beach, which is located within the harbor. County officials said talks of possibly closing more harbors south of Newport Beach are underway, and boaters should prepare.
All county and city beaches in Laguna Beach have been closed to the public, and city officials are asking people to stay off the shore “and pay close attention to any closure or warning signs posted at or near beach areas,” a news release states. Oil had not yet been seen on its shoreline as of Sunday, though authorities were preparing for it.

The Orange County Health Care Agency on Sunday issued a health advisory, encouraging people who may have been in contact with the oil to see a physician. Dr. Clayton Chau, county health officer, advised the public to stay away from activities near beaches “such as swimming, surfing, biking, walking, exercising, gathering, etc.”

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