The California oil spill from a ruptured onshore pipeline continued to foul beaches and threaten wildlife along a majestic stretch of the California coast spread across 9 miles of ocean and officials said over 105,000 gallons may have been leaked.
Over one fifth of that, 21,000 gallons, has so far reached the sea, causing one of the worst ecological disasters in California history.
California has now declared a state of emergency, which will mobilize state resources to contain and mitigate the effect of the spill.
Federal regulators continued to investigate the leak as workers in protective suits began to rake and shovel the smelly black sludge off the beaches. Boats could be seen towing booms into place to corral the two slicks, located just off the Santa Barbara coast.
Ironically it was this same place where a much larger spill happened in 1969, the largest in U.S. waters at the time, which is credited with giving rise to the American environmental movement.
Federal regulators from the Department of Transportation, which oversees oil pipeline safety, are investigating the leak's cause, the pipe's condition and any potential regulatory violations that occurred.
The 24-inch pipe was built in 1991 and had no previous problems but the pipe underwent tests about two weeks ago and the results were not analyzed.
There is currently no estimate on the cost of the cleanup or how long the efforts will take.
The disgusting combination of soiled beaches and putrid stench of petroleum caused state parks officials to shut down Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach over the Memorial Day weekend.