Strange black blobs of tar-like goo surged on onto southern California’s Manhattan Beach by the thousands, closing down the two-mile area Wednesday while the U.S. Coast Guard and National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration are investigating the source and substance.
Goo continued to wash ashore for two hours after lifeguards noticed the substance Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department and Fox News.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) May 28, 2015
The size of the globs range from that of a baseball to a football according to Heal the Bay.
“While many observers might think that this unfortunate incident is directly related to the recent oil spill in Santa Barbara, it is simply too early to tell where the oil came from. It is unknown if the oil is from natural seepage or from an oil spill from a local refinery or pipeline located nearby.”
Naturally occurring oil seepage from the ocean floor occurs typically around this time of year and was seen occurring earlier this month on nearby southern California beaches. This incident appears isolated to the Manhattan Beach area so far, Heal the Bay stated Wednesday.
NOAA and the Coast Guard have taken samples in order to better determine the source, Heal the Bay noted. A cleanup effort is underway.
Public Health officials are warning people to avoid coming into contact with water, wet sand or other substances in the area that may expose a person to oil and adverse health affects.
No wildlife appears to have been harmed, initial reports indicated.
The affected stretch of beach remained closed by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health as of Thursday morning, according to Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card.
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