Volunteer Registry - https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/volunteer
On Saturday, October 2, the City of Newport Beach was notified of an oil spill located approximately 3-4 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach. The spill created an oil slick that stretched approximately 13 square miles. Oil was first observed onshore in Newport Beach the following day, when it was found on City beaches between 52nd Street and the Santa Ana River.
Preliminary results of the investigation indicate that the leak originated from a broken pipeline connected to Oil Platform Elly, an offshore oil rig owned by Amplify Energy Corporation. Current estimates are that 126,000 gallons of oil leaked into ocean waters.
The multi-agency, cleanup response and incident investigation is being led by the U.S. Coast Guard and the state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. It includes County of Orange, the cities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach and Amplify Energy.
Advisories and Closures
- The state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has temporarily prohibited all fishing and collecting of shellfish (both recreational and commercial) from Huntington Beach south to Dana Point.
- As of Monday, October 11, the beaches are fully reopen. Residents and visitors are advised to avoid contact with any oiled areas of the beach and tar balls that wash ashore.
- The entrance to Newport Harbor reopened Friday, October 8 following a five-day closure.
Beach Clean Up
Trained spill response contractors have been dispatched to clean up the oil. Public volunteers are not needed at this time and could hinder response efforts.
Oil-Impacted Wildlife Concerns
Members of the public are advised to avoid contact with oiled wildlife and to stay away from tidepools and other sensitive wildlife habitat. Please call (877) 823-6926 to report wildlife impacted by the spill.
Community volunteers that meet the following minimum requirements are asked to complete the volunteer registration form at
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to lift up to 25 pounds
- Be willing to follow County Public Health COVID procedures.
For a registration form and more information visit https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer
To reach the Volunteer Hotline call 1-800-228-4544.
In addition, Newport Beach and other coastal cities are partnering with Surfrider to help coordinate volunteer opportunities in the near future. Register at www.cleanups.surfrider.org to be notified of future opportunities.
City Manager Grace Leung, acting in her capacity of director of emergency services, signed a proclamation of local emergency on October 5. The City Council will be asked to ratify the proclamation at its October 12 meeting.
District 1 Town Hall Presentation
Chief Lifeguard Mike Halphide provided a report on the oil spill at the October 5 Town Hall meeting.
All City beaches are fully open as of 2 p.m. Monday, October 11, after water quality testing showed the ocean water is safe for swimmers and surfers to return.
10/11/2021 2:06 pm
The entrance to Newport Harbor reopened Friday afternoon, October 8, following a five-day closure due to the oil spill. The Harbor entrance was closed Monday morning by order of the U.S. Coast Guard to help prevent oil from entering harbor waters.
10/08/2021 3:02 pm
Oil spill cleanup crews continued their work along the shoreline on Thursday, October 7, including 40 workers deployed to West Newport, from 15th Street to 36th Street, and another 40 in Corona del Mar.
10/07/2021 3:02 pm
The Unified Command leading the oil spill response has approved the use of community volunteers to assist in the effort.
10/07/2021 11:28 am
The City has declared a local emergency in response to the 126,000 gallon oil spill off of the coast of Newport Beach and surrounding cities. The emergency declaration has been signed by City Manager Grace Leung and is expected to be ratified by the City Council at its next meeting, October 12.
10/06/2021 12:59 pm
Cleanup crews have been deployed to Newport Beach and are working to remove tar and oil from the beaches as part of the larger cleanup effort.
10/05/2021 1:44 pm
The action is being taken to help prevent oil from entering the harbor. There is no oil in the harbor at this time.
10/04/2021 10:29 am
The City of Newport Beach is advising residents and visitors to avoid contact with ocean water and oiled areas of the beach, following a large oil spill that was identified Saturday off the coast of Newport and Huntington Beach. Oil has been observed on shore in some areas.
10/03/2021 9:48 am