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Major Oil Spill

SLIPPERY MESS Workers use skimmers and floating barriers to clean up oil that spilled into Talbert Marsh, in Huntington Beach, California, on October 3. MYUNG J. CHUN—LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

An underwater pipeline has leaked at least 126,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean. The leak happened off the coast of California on October 2. It may be the largest spill in California since 2015.

Oil covered the water for miles. Black globs washed up on the shore. Beaches in the area could be closed for weeks or months.

Oil spills hurt wildlife. They create toxic fumes. This makes it hard for whales and dolphins to breathe. Birds get oil on their feathers and can’t fly. Some animals die. “The oil spill just shows how dirty and dangerous oil drilling is,” Miyoko Sakashita says. She’s a director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Kim Carr is the mayor of Huntington Beach. She calls the oil spill “devastating.” But Coast Guard crews are working to contain it. “We are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our residents, our visitors, and our natural habitats,” Carr says.