The Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) and the City of Long Beach have now opened local beaches to the public after petroleum-based products were discovered Wednesday, authorities announced Friday morning.
Beaches from First Place to 72nd Place are now accessible, but residents and visitors are asked to take extra precaution when walking on the beach or swimming in local waters, according to a press statement.
The tar balls, or patties, ranged in a variety of sizes—from a dime to half a softball—and were cleared from the beaches by a contracted agency at about 1:00PM Thursday, Long Beach Environmental Health Bureau Manager Nelson Kerr said.
Ocean Blue recovered about 55 gallons of the product between 4:00PM Wednesday, June 3, to 4:00AM Thursday, June 4, LBFD spokesman Jake Heflin said.
A California Brown Pelican was reported to have been saturated by the product, according to Heflin. It was transported to the city’s Animal Care Services to be treated.
There was also a report of a sea lion in the federal breakwater that was impacted, but officials were not able to detain the animal for evaluation, so officials could not determine if exposure had actually occurred, Heflin said.
Officials will continue to monitor beaches and conduct appropriate measures to locate and remove the product, officials said.
Authorities ask that all reports of oil debris be directed to the National Response Center (NRC) Hotline at 1.800.424.8802, or local area lifeguards at 562.570.1360.