Last month, the Commission, using a barge, divers, and other equipment, successfully capped two leaking legacy wells offshore Summerland Beach in Santa Barbara County. The work, which required permits from multiple state and federal agencies, including CalGem and the California Coastal Commission, went smoothly and was completed on schedule.
Capping these leaking wells is part of the Commission’s broader efforts to prevent oil from legacy wells drilled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from leaking into surrounding waters and onto the beach. Aerial photos taken after the work show a visibly clear ocean. Heal the Ocean and Summerland residents applauded the work, stating:
“We have our beach back and can walk without shoes!”
“Yes, yes, yes, it’s a miracle come true. I walked about four miles with neighbors today and all were in awe.”
“We have been enjoying the beach these last few beautiful days, free of the smell of oil and free from any sign of oil on the beach. What a delight. I hope some of you have noticed this too? Special thanks to all who made this happen.”
The Commission is incredibly proud of everyone who helped make this work successful, including its contractor, InterAct, Heal the Ocean, and its own staff, who exhibited exemplary teamwork and diligence throughout the process.