Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Oil Slick Spotted Near Santa Barbara Isn't From An Oil Spill After All

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.


The oil sheen spotted off Santa Barbara County's coast last week was determined to be natural, and not part of an oil spill some people suspected.On Wednesday, kayakers 1,000 yards off the coast of Goleta Beach paddled back to shore with their kayaks and legs coated in oil. The Coast Guard spotted an oil slick spread over about six square miles, but too thin to be cleaned up. Authorities announced on Monday that test result show that the oil came from a natural seepage.

The oil matched tar bars that were known to come from natural seepages. A seep field on the seafloor off Santa Barbara naturally leaks thousands of gallons of oil every day. "The earth burps all the time," Robert Hernandez, a local who regularly fishes on the Goleta pier, told the L.A. Times. "You smell it, you get a little on you. No big deal."

The oil will naturally dissipate, said authorities. This recent slick caused worries of a second oil spill in the area after one that dumped over 20,000 gallons of oil into the ocean and caused tar balls to wash up along several Southern California beaches.