Environment & Science

Ventura County has latest California beaches with oily surge

File photo: Ventura pier with a view of Catalina in the distance.
File photo: Ventura pier with a view of Catalina in the distance.
Photo by JoePhilipson via Flickr Creative Commons

Ventura County says clean-up crews are scooping up tar balls from its beaches in the latest in a series of oily outbreaks along the California coastline.

Officials say the crews were cleaning up ball-shaped and disc-shaped clumps Friday from several county beaches.

Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services manager Kevin McGowan says it's not yet known whether the oil is coming from the major spill in Santa Barbara County about 50 miles to the northwest, or whether it's an excess of the natural seepage that can occur in the area.

A similar surge of oily goo on beaches in Los Angeles County forced the closure of a 7-mile stretch of shoreline for cleanup. They reopened on Friday night.

Officials in Ventura County say there doesn't appear to be significant danger to people or wildlife there.