Oil Spill Response

Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


Official Incident Website - https://socalspillresponse.com/

 Volunteer Registry - https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/volunteer


Incident Overview

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. 

Volunteer Opportunities

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. 

Emergency Proclamation

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.

Archived News