SANTA BARBARA ( — One of the beaches affected by a massive oil pipeline rupture along a stretch of beach in Santa Barbara that spilled over 100,000 gallons of crude into the ocean was reopened Friday.

El Capitan State Beach in Goleta has been cleared by the California Department of Parks and Recreation to re-open for camping and day use more than five weeks after the massive oil spill at nearby Refugio State Beach.

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“We were very excited to hear that the beach opened today. We just love the ocean,” said one woman, who traveled from Fullerton.


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Both Refugio State Beach and El Capitan were closed following the spill on May 19 that resulted in a 10-square-mile oil slick in the Pacific Ocean. A couple hundred birds and mammals were killed as a result of the spill.

“I don’t see any signs of oil at all,” said Curtis Mello, who traveled from Irvine. “The beach, the sand is clear and the water is clear as well.”

Reservations at Refugio State Beach have been cancelled until July 9, authorities said.

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All other beaches in the Santa Barbara area are open to the public.