Devastating Photos Show How An Oil Spill Consumed Santa Barbara’s Coastline
Animals and marine life are washing up on Santa Barbara’s shores after a ruptured underground pipeline leaked an estimated total of 105,000 gallons of crude oil on Tuesday — 21,000 gallons of which ended up in the ocean.
Shayne Tuthill, a local resident who was cleaning up a section of the coastline with a group of volunteers, told The Huffington Post that he saw oiled fish, squid, and even a seal and a pelican that appeared to be dying on the beach.
“It was really sad to see the seal because it came to shore and couldn’t breathe or swim,” he said. “The pelican was alive at one point. It landed, but it was consumed by the oil … and died.”
Official cleanup crews supervised by the U.S. Coast Guard have spent the past three days working on the beach. Wildlife officials say they’ve counted at least five oiled brown pelicans.
As of Thursday evening, more than 8,300 gallons of oily water had been collected, according to the Los Angeles Times, but Coast Guard officials say it could take months to restore the area and ocean to its original condition.
Below, see how the oil spill consumed a once idyllic shoreline within three days.
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