Worst oil spill since ’69

What's really happening

By David Pu’u
The current oil spill is a tough one for many reasons.We do not have many spill events, yet an active series of seepages in the ocean here, which has been going on for countless years, has always had oil in the water. But in recent times (the past 10-15 years) those have slowed, likely because the pumping of oil has lowered pressure in the reserves, resulting in less public awareness of the pervasiveness of oil in this region.


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


This was the second biggest oil spill ever in this oil field, and one of about 5 that I know of in a 50 year period here. But the scale of it is actually a teensy fraction of our 1969 spill which led to the US based Environmental movement being born, and our current highly detailed Regulatory Controls at Federal, State and County levels.
But contrary to the Unocal disaster, this spill was on land. So not much of the total volume spilled, made it to the water. What did, washed up on this beach that I learned to surf on in 1966, and where Donna and I were married 2 years ago in a Hawaiian-Chumash ceremony. It is a sacred place for me and many others.
Various local news media, politicians and NGOs are making the event out to be this massive black ocean death blight, apparently endeavoring to ramp up careers and make money off the plight of the place,  and are literally inciting the public.
Meanwhile, Blue Wolf and I quietly walked the coastline below the spill site and had a close look for 2 days. What we saw is that the spill was localized, and containment and cleanup kept the oil in the Refugio beach area for the most part. The beach literally looks the way it did much of the time in my 50 years of being there. It is a remote part of our coast in a way.Some Developers and Environmental NGO’s have been trying to take control of it for awhile now. But for the moment, the bulk of it, is still its beautiful self.
I think that the foundation of the misinformation being disseminated, may be related to a lack of understanding about what pollution is, and how one generally remediates the toxicity involved in an event.
Simply annotated:
Pollution is a resource out of place. Pollution and its related toxity, are resolved via dilution.

The two oil companies, Federal and State authorities, and Marine Biologists, are doing their thing. That will lead to a clean up, and the ocean will swiftly rebound at Refugio, becoming a black blip on the ecosystem and public radar, and another example of how shoddy the understanding is amongst many people, regarding the Ocean and our infrastructures, which supply the needs and demands of a Nation.


Photos of the spill location are displayed here. This is what it looked like this week.  Best for people to focus on that, rather than the black wave which washed ashore at the point in the middle back part of the frame. It will point them in a better direction.


All will be well soon.

The Ocean will see to that.

            Regards from just another surfer,


Refugio Beach, CA Photo: David Pu’u


David Pu’u is an internationally recognized photographer and cinematographer with broad experience ranging from editorial publication, to television and feature film production. Currently David is lead creative and CEO of Neocreative Inc, which develops and licenses IP related to Photography, Literature and Film. He is Co Founder of OceanLovers Collective Inc.  He holds a Certification as a Rescue Boat Operator and First Responder via K38 Maritime and AWA, and is trained in risk assessment and mitigation in marine environments.  

He has also done work as a creative and advisor in think tank project environments  at ARUP, the Sea-Space Initiative,  the ongoing Neuroscience Project: Blue Mind, and the Seth Godin based project: Triiibes.


Get free Citizensjournal.us BULLETINS. Please patronize our advertisers (including below) to keep us publishing and/or DONATE.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
H Jack Morgan
H Jack Morgan
6 years ago

Thank you David for the clear and comprehensive report.
I hope many take advantage and read it.