Updates from Santa Barbara oil spill spread via devastating images

On Tuesday afternoon, an 11-mile-long pipeline in Santa Barbara, California, ruptured, spilling the equivalent of 500 barrels worth of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean. The estimated 21,000 gallons closed beaches along a four-mile section of California coastline. Cleanup efforts began Wednesday morning, but the effects are devastating.

"Anytime you have oil spilled into the marine ecosystem it's a major threat for birds and other wildlife,” Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California, told the Los Angeles Times.

Unfortunately, as news begins to spread about the Santa Barbara oil spill, so do reports on the affected wildlife. Because the cleanup is underway, officials haven’t released specific numbers, but images are already coming out on social media that show injured, trapped, and deceased animals.

Closures of Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach (including surf spots at both) are certainly leaving surfers and Memorial Day visitors out of luck, although campgrounds are still open at press time.

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