MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A seven-mile stretch of coast littered by globs of tar earlier this week is open again.
Swimmers and surfers were allowed back in the ocean Friday night between the jetty at El Segundo and the waters off Torrance.
It’s welcome news given that the weather is expected to heat up over the weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s along the coast.
“I was actually a little bit cautious about it, even today,” one beach-goer said. “It’s a good reminder to everyone that we need to be careful about our natural resources.”
Fifty clean-up crews worked Thursday and Friday to clear the South Bay beaches of those tar balls. They filled three dump trucks with the contaminant.
Teams and federal agencies collected samples from the water and sand to determine the substance and where it came from.
Beach-goers and local residents say they’re taking it all in stride and they’re just happy to be back out in the water.
“…I didn’t see any tar, just a lot of seashells and seaweed,” beach-goer Allie Orechwa said. “No tar.”
“It’s not a good thing, but having grown up here and having oil wells out here, every now and then there are small, little spills, with a little bit of tar in the sand. It generally clumps up in the water,” Manhattan Beach resident Joe Clayton said. “It’s a fact of life in Southern California.”
It’s unclear whether the tar build-up is connected to the oil rigs off shore or the May 19 oil spill north of Santa Barbara.
The U.S. Coast Guard is still looking to discover the cause of the tar balls.