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The Latest on the Oil Spill

October 11, 2021

Dear Neighbor:

Like you, I have been watching the environmental disaster that is unfolding along our Southern California coastline with a heavy heart.

This oil spill, first reported on October 2 off the coast of Huntington Beach, is an unacceptable tragedy for California’s coast. And while the cause of this incident continues to be investigated, the damage to wildlife and precious watersheds and wetlands is already reported to be vast.

We have an obligation to ensure that this never happens again.

I can assure you that my colleagues in the Legislature and I are working together, to ensure there is proper oversight into this disaster. California Attorney General Rob Bonta also has announced that his office is taking action and is opening a formal investigation into the spill.

Oil Spill on Beach
 (Image courtesy

I am closely monitoring developments and am in conversation with Unified Command, which includes San Diego and Orange counties, along with the United States Coast Guard.

I am in strong support of Congressman Mike Levin’s bill that would ban new offshore drilling off our coast. I also look forward to working with the Biden Administration on ways to better prepare and mitigate situations like this one.

While the final outcome of this remains unknown, one thing that is certain is that the collaboration and work during this tragedy has been nothing short of amazing. From the California Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Office of Spill Prevention and Response’s efforts, to the many organizations assisting with rescue and rehabilitation of the marine wildlife, which locally include Coastkeeper, Surfrider, and San Diego’s SeaWorld, all are working tirelessly and deserve our deep gratitude. Thank you!

How You Can Help

San Diego residents can be an important asset to Unified Command. If you see tarballs on San Diego Beaches, please report them.

It’s crucial that you do not come in contact with any tarballs you may see. They contain hazardous chemicals. That cleanup work is for trained Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams and contracted cleanup crews equipped in protective gear.

If you see tar balls, please report them to officials with details on when, and where you saw them, as well as your contact information to or call 1-877-823-6926.

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer or assist with donations, you can fill out this form online.

To stay up to date with the latest information, bookmark this website, dedicated to the spill with the latest updates.

Tar Ball Facts


Toni Atkins signature
Toni Atkins
Senator, 39th District