PHOTOS: Large oil spill hits Southern California coast

Pelicans fly over the beach after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Oil washes up on Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Lifeguards gather signs to post that warn that water contact may cause illness as they close the beach after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Part of an oil spill washes up on the beach south of the Pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Cleanup contractors collect oil in plastic bags trying to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
A sign posted on the sand reads "Oil Rig Archy," after oil washed up on Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Crews deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
A Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) vessel, foreground, an oil spill removal organization (OSRO), deploys floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further incursion of an oil slick off Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
A cleanup contractor uses a skimmer after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers to try to stop further oil crude incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
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Crews on the water and on shore worked feverishly to limit environmental damage from one of the largest oil spills in recent California history.

People said they noticed an oil sheen and smell of petroleum Friday evening, but it wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that the Coast Guard said an oil slick had been spotted.

Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said Sunday that divers were still trying to determine exactly where the leak occurred in its underwater Southern California pipeline. The pipeline and three oil platforms it serves have been shut down.

Photos show patches of oil coating the sand, signs warning people to stay off the beach and cleanup contractors in white outfits using skimmers and barriers to try to contain and clean the spill.

The oil will likely continue to wash up on the shore in several communities for days, officials said. Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said the city’s beaches could remain closed for weeks or even months.

The area affected by the latest spill is home to threatened and endangered species, including a plump shorebird called the snowy plover, the California least tern and humpback whales.

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