Surf’s up and the beaches are (almost) open.
The City of Huntington Beach and California State Parks on Sunday night announced the reopening of both city and state beaches in Huntington Beach as of Monday at 6 a.m. The joint decision to reopen comes after coastal ocean and wetlands water quality testing results showed non-detectable amounts of oil associated toxins in our ocean water.
For the health and safety of residents, and in partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency, the City and State made the decision to close the ocean and shoreline between the Santa Ana River Jetty and Sunset Beach in response to the oil spill off the Huntington Beach coast. Since being notified of the spill, both the city and state have been monitoring the oil spill situation and making adjustments as needed.
While the overall clean-up efforts are being led by the US Coast Guard, in Huntington Beach, the local response efforts have remained focused on two main priorities: protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors; and preventing an ecological disaster by mitigating the impacts of the oil on our precious coastline and wetlands.
As an additional safety measure, the City of Huntington Beach hired an independent contractor to provide ocean and wetlands water quality testing. The contractor tested 40 different sites along the Huntington Beach coast and wetlands from the Santa Ana River Jetty through Sunset Beach. All samples were tested for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) as a way to determine the levels of oil present in the ocean. The testing results for all but one of the 40 tested locations came back with a non-detectable amount of PAH and TPH. The only location where oil was detected was a non-toxic level located in the water just north of Warner Avenue.
“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. We understand the significance our beaches have on tourism, our economy, and our overall livelihood here in Huntington Beach,” said Huntington Beach Mayor, Kim Carr. “It is important that our decision to reopen our shoreline and water be based on data and that we continue to monitor the water quality going forward.”
The initial independent ocean water testing report is available on the city’s oil spill webpage. Moving ahead, water quality testing will continue twice a week for at least the next two weeks, and those test results will also be published to the city’s oil spill webpage.
With the reopening of the city and state beaches, the City of Huntington Beach and California State Parks reminds everyone to utilize caution when visiting the beach. Given the oil spill situation and impacts, an ongoing advisory notice remains in effect for all beaches in Huntington Beach. Beachgoers are advised to avoid areas where an oil smell is present. Further, we expect to see oiled materials and tar balls wash up on the beach, and individuals are advised not to handle or ingest any oil materials. If you do see oil or tar balls on the beach, please contact beach clean-up teams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Huntington Beach