Tar Balls Possibly Linked To California Oil Spill Are Appearing On San Diego Beaches Amid Fears Environmental Impact Is Spreading
Tar balls that may be linked to the oil spill off the coast of Orange County, California, are washing up on San Diego beaches, county officials said Thursday, highlighting concerns about the widening environmental impact days after tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled into the ocean.
According to Fletcher, lifeguards from the cities of Carlsbad and Oceanside saw the tar balls on their beaches Wednesday night, and officials have also received reports of tar balls in Encinitas and Del Mar, some 70 miles south of the beaches initially impacted in Orange County.
The oil spill has been designated a "Major Marine Casualty," the US Coast Guard announced Thursday, the highest level of severity. In this case, it's been designated as such "due to the potential involvement of a vessel and the resulting damages estimated in excess of $500,000," the Coast Guard said in a statement.