Local beaches open- tar balls normal

By George Miller

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Sign on Wooley and Harbor Blvd. Tuesday, 6-2-15. Photo: CitizensJournal.us

Since the Refugio oil spill, there have been millions of words written, alarms sounded, politicians moaning- and that’s good. We don’t want oil spills fouling our waters and wish to avoid recurrences. But, has this gone “overboard?” Although the spill was significant, even the largest in SoCal nearly a half century, it was very minor compared to the big 1969 Unocal event and will be cleaned up with few, if any permanent effects.

However, there have been reports of extraordinary “tar balls” on beaches south of the spill all the way down to LA. We went out and walked our local beaches at Oxnard Shores and Hollywood Beach and saw no cause for alarm, at least not there.

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Oxnard Shores Sunday. Tar balls are pretty typical of what we see much of the year. Photo: CitizensJournal.us

This is pretty much normal and what ends up on the bottom of our shoes when we’re not carefully watching where we’re walking. It goes with the territory in a region like ours which is subject to oil seepages. There was a report of tar balls from the size of a dime up to a dinner plate, which is larger than we saw here. On Friday, we ran a recent photo of Refugio Beach (below), which looked like it had tar just a bit heavier than the Oxnard Shores beach, above.


Refugio oil spill, May, 2015. Photo: David Pu’u


George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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Quinn Fenwick
Quinn Fenwick
5 years ago

I have to disagree with your reporting here. The oil on the beaches these last few days is hardly normal. I’ve lived on Pierpont for the last 35 years and am very familiar with the minor oil blobs we get due to a variety of factors. These last few days are entirely different.
If I had a way to post my photos you would see how they contrast with yours. Taken in the area of San Pedro at the beach in Ventura they show an apps 2 foot slick of oil that ran from San Pedro all the way to the Seaward jetty. This is no ‘normal’ event.
I’m amazed by the way you and others are so quick to try to minimize this event. Why is that?
I will say that the company has paid some individuals to come and clean the beach the last few days. Today there were apps 50 workers in protective gear in area from San Pedro jetty to Seaward jetty cleaning up the oil. They seem to have done a pretty good job as well.
My main point is this: why minimize this oil mess. Those of us concerned about the beaches are not looking for the responsible party to end fossil fuels as we all know it but rather simply clean up the mess that they made. Seems in fact that this is a pretty conservative ideal; exercise personal (or corporate) responsibility and deal with consequences of your actions.
And again, please don’t call this mess ‘normal’.
Quinn Fenwick