River Spill

We are in southern Louisiana with my ESRM 492: Service Learning in New Orleans class.  Today we head down to lower Plaquemines Parish and it just so happens at 2am this morning we had a small spill of oil in the river.  Details are still flowing in and the Coast Guard are responding, but so… Read more »

Chennai Oil Spill

Our friends in India are battling a new oil spill that began in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 28, 2017.  The cargo ships BM Maple (UK flagged) and Dawn Kanchipuram (Indian flagged) collided about 4 km outside the mouth of Kamrajar Harbor, itself about 24 km north of Chennai Port, Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.  The Dawn… Read more »

Ballooning Plastic

A few distinct, but unrelated experiences have brought the issue of plastic balloons in the ocean into frequent conversation this week. It began with last Saturday’s annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.  I happened to be out on Santa Cruz Island with my son’s Boy Scout Troop.  Our 30 scouts made quick work of the debris… Read more »

Ojai Oil Tank On Fire

A now more than 12 alarm fire erupted within the past hour in Ojai, California (in western Ventura County).  The incident was reported at 8:35 a.m. near Highway 150 and Topa Lane roughly here ( 34.438417°, -119.132719°): The incident was originally thought to be a burning oil derrick, but subsequent reports have clarified that it is instead a… Read more »

Rio’s Toxic Olympic Waters

Every two years the Olympic Games roll around and we are treated to endless commentary and an amazingly small amount of actual sport (at least on NBC Universal Channels that have a stranglehold on U.S. broadcasts via their $7.75 billion contract).  Outside of the NBC hype machine, we have seen a pattern in recent years of… Read more »

Ball of Confusion: Hall Canyon 1 Month On

It is almost one month since our most recent energy infrastructure foundering: Crimson Pipeline’s release of crude oil into the hills above the City of Ventura.  Lots of developments continue to burble up as we all try to figure out the next surprise.

Hall Canyon Spill

Yet another start of the summer and yet another pipeline break on the south coast.

Refugio Oil Spill History: Timeline Part 1

The one-year anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill has brought with it a raft of renewed interest in this oil spill and the consequences as we now see them.  We’ve done a good deal of media over the last couple of weeks.  Add to that plenty of breaking stories from all quarters (often speaking to… Read more »

Toast that repair guy…

Raise that Glass The one year anniversary of the Refugio Oil Spill is fast approaching.  Lots of folks have been asking my colleagues and me about the impacts of this spill now that we have the perspective of a year.  Well, first and foremost, I’m hugely appreciative to the repair man.

Coastal Commission Pushback

To say that the California Coastal Commission has been in something of an upheaval in recent months is an understatement.  The insanity even rubbed off on me and one of the boards I serve on (but that is a story for later).  The ouster of the Commission’s Executive Director in closed-doored session and with barely… Read more »

Latest
  • Feds order pipeline company to clean up SB coastline & Investors React

    Federal authorities on Wednesday issued a cleanup order to the company whose underground pipeline last week spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean and marred several miles of Santa Barbara County coastline. “Our action today is to make sure the oil response work continues until the Santa Barbara County coastline is… Read more »

  • Students in the News

    Great to see more stories focusing on our students and their dedicated efforts as the getting out into the regular coverage of spill impacts.  The two most recent of these featured some of our field sampling over the weekend.  Many of the students in our field crews have been canceling things right and left.  This spill… Read more »

  • Holiday or no…

    Our teams are mustering for another field day of monitoring the ecological and social impacts of this spill. Much of the genesis of our current Sandy Beach work is grounded in our efforts to bring folks into field science who would not otherwise be engaged in a so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) discipline…. Read more »

  • The worth of our Beaches

    Sandy Beaches are everything to us here in Southern California, a central pillar of both our cultural identity and economic engine.  They are where we birthed surf culture (on beaches like Huntington and Surfrider), invented beach volleyball (on beaches like Manhattan Beach and Redondo), trained our young people to fight the axis powers of WWII… Read more »

  • Oil at Coal Oil Point: Pipeline or Seep?

        The University of California’s Natural Reserve System (NRS) is an incredible network of protected areas spanning the state of California.  These areas provide much needed spaces wherein researchers can study California ecosystems minimally impacted (and yes, I know that is a relative term) by our voracious appetite to burn, pave, and manipulate all we… Read more »

  • Oil Spill Trigger Disaster Designation on CA Coast: HuffPost Live

    I was on Huffington Post Live this afternoon.  I wasn’t able to finish my thought (Real Housewives were apparently on deck). But if I had, I would have noted that our clean-up technology hasn’t kept pace with our drilling/extraction technology.  And that you can have all the regulations you like, but it is the government… Read more »

  • Oil Spill Sizes

    See our oil spill size comparison in our research section.

  • Santa Barbara oil spill: Pipeline operator has long record of problems

    The oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach may have spilled as much as 105,000 gallons of crude, authorities said. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) Source: Santa Barbara oil spill: Pipeline operator has long record of problems – LA Times

  • Santa Barbara oil spill: 7 aerial photos that show the fallout

    Source: Santa Barbara oil spill: 7 aerial photos that show the fallout – LA Times

  • Environmentalists seize on latest Santa Barbara oil spill – US News

    GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — More than 6,000 gallons of oil had been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast in a cleanup effort that is now going 24 hours a day, officials said, but that’s some of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline…. Read more »