Oil Spill Devastates Wildlife Off Coast Of California

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A breach in an oil pipeline in Southern California on Saturday resulted in thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the Pacific Ocean, ravaging a nearby wildlife habitat.

The spill started approximately five miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, California, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said, according to CNN.

Around 3,000 barrels worth of oil flowed into the ocean as a result of the spill, officials said. Much of the wildlife living in the area have died, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Most Voters Say Pipelines Are ‘Safest And Best Method’ Of Transporting Oil And Gas, Poll Finds)

“We’ve started to find dead birds and fish washing up on the shore. The oil has infiltrated the entirety of the (Talbert) Wetlands. There’s significant impacts to wildlife there,” Foley said, CNN reported. “These are wetlands that we’ve been working with the Army Corps of Engineers, with the Land Trust, with all the community wildlife partners to make sure to create this beautiful, natural habitat for decades. And now in just a day, it’s completely destroyed.”

The U.S. Coast Guard first received notice of an oil sheen early Saturday morning, CNN reported.

“It’s probably been leaking longer than we know,” Foley told CNN.

The United States Coast Guard said that 1,218 gallons of oil has been recovered from the spill, CNN reported. There have been numerous reports of animals covered in oil along the Southern California coast. Many of these animals are receiving veterinary care and other reports of oiled wildlife are under investigation, according to the outlet.

“” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Amplify Energy owns the pipeline from which the spill occurred. Martyn Willsher, Amplify’s CEO and president, discussed the oil spill at a news conference Sunday.

“We are fully committed to being out here until this incident is fully concluded. Our employees live and work in these communities, and we’re all deeply impacted and concerned about the impact on not just the environment, but the fish and wildlife as well,” Willsher said. “We will do everything in our power to ensure that this is recovered as quickly as possible, and we won’t be done until this is concluded.”

The National Transportation Safety Board stated on Twitter that they are investigating and analyzing what caused the the oil spill.