Oil shouldn’t spoil vacations for California beach tourists

A worker removes oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. More than 7,700 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Images of sticky black beaches and stories of the stink of oil from a broken coastal pipeline shouldn’t force canceled plans for the vast majority of tourists planning ocean vacations in California.

People who had immediate plans at two popular state-owned beaches — Refugio and El Capitan — need to make new ones, as those two spots in the immediate line of the oil spill in Santa Barbara County are closed through Memorial Day weekend and the coast highway next to them has seen slowdowns for the cleanup operations.

However, they represent just a segment of the beaches in Santa Barbara County, the pristine and often pricey stretch of coastline whose boosters bill it as “America’s Riviera.”

The tourism group Visit Santa Barbara and its members are trying to spread the word that almost all of the area, including every hotel and resort, is open for business, spokeswoman Karna Hughes said Thursday.

“The spill hasn’t reached the waters off Santa Barbara,” Hughes said.

The slick from the pipeline, which burst and spewed into the ocean on Tuesday, now covers nine miles of ocean, but it’s diluting as it spreads and is still 15 miles from Santa Barbara itself.

A handful of reports of bits of oil reaching further south may be the naturally occurring seepage that happens in the oil-rich area.

“There are some scattered tar balls but those may not even be associated with this spill,” U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jennifer Williams said at a news conference Thursday night.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s