California Oil Spill Photos Show 'Devastating' Slick Spiral into Pacific Ocean

Heartbreaking photos have shown the extent of the ecological devastation caused by the oil slick off California's coast.

Authorities are now racing to clean the scene, described by Orange County Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris in a tweet as "catastrophic."

However, the human reaction to the spill has proved too late for some of the local wildlife.

A statement on the City of Huntington Beach site read: "Unfortunately, we are starting to see oil-covered fish and birds washing up along our coastline."

Mayor Kim Carr of Huntington Beach, who Newsweek has contacted for comment, described the incident as "one of the most devastating situations our community has dealt with in decades."

As reported by The New York Times, she added: "Rest assured that the team in Huntington Beach mobilized quickly, and we are proactively responding.

Oil floats in the water of the Talbert Marshlands as a 3,000-barrel oil spill, about 126,000 gallons, from an offshore oil rig reaches the shore and sensitive wildlife habitats in Newport Beach, California on October 3, 2021 DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

"We are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our residents, our visitors and our natural habitats."

Approximately 3,150 gallons of oil have already been recovered from the water, and 5,360 feet of boom have been deployed, in an incident that remains under investigation.

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Crude oil is shown in the Pacific Ocean offshore of Orange County, Oct. 3, 2021. A unified command has been established to respond to and clean up the oil spill off the California coast. U.S. Coast Guard

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley has announced fisheries in the impacted area are now closed to give time to investigate any impacts to marine life.

Concerns are particularly great for seabirds migrating south, which are thought to be resting while unaware of the oil water's dangers.

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The U.S. Coast Guard responding to the oil spill off the California's Huntington Beach U.S. Coast Guard

Foley has also urged people to avoid intervening in the clean-up operation, tweeting: "Please stay 50ft from shore to avoid clusters of oil on shore."

Skimming equipment and booms have been deployed along the coast, including the area's extremely protected marshlands.

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Capt. Rebecca Ore, commanding officer of Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, assesses water and shoreline impacts along the Orange County coast, Oct. 3, 2021 U.S. Coast Guard

Photos released by U.S. Coast Guard, leading the cleanup efforts, have already documented the damage inflicted on the wildlife.

These show oily residue floating on top of the ocean and inland pools as well as the accelerating rescue efforts.

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Clean-up efforts are underway on an approximately six-mile oil spill along the Huntington coast City of Huntington Beach/Twitter

Huntington Beach has already identified Beta Offshore as the company responsible for the oil spill.

The authority writes on its website: "[The] California subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy ... is also working on the clean-up effort, and in the coming days and weeks, we will be working to ensure that Amplify Energy Corporation does everything possible to rectify this environmental catastrophe."

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Coast Guard personnel show forward-looking infrared footage to members local officials, on Sunday, October 3 U.S. Coast Guard

Representative Michelle Steel, a Republican who represents much of Orange County, has written to President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster declaration in response to the spill.

She wrote: "It is imperative that the federal government assist in recovery effort[s].

"Constituents who live along the shoreline are already reporting oil on the beach and strong odors. Dead fish and birds are already being reported on beaches and shorelines."

"I have serious concerns about the environmental impacts of the spill and applaud the workers who are doing their best to prevent the oil from hitting sensitive wetlands."