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Refugio Oil Spill: What Restoration Looks Like 5 Years Later

It has been over five years since the Refugio Oil Spill devastated the Gaviota Coast. A stark reminder of the catastrophic 1969 oil spill, Santa Barbara County was again under a State of Emergency. The economy, public health, and the environment were negatively impacted as 136 square miles of coastline were shut down. Fishers’ livelihoods were at risk, state parks and campgrounds were closed, people could not enjoy the beach for weeks, and countless wildlife were badly injured and killed. The impacts resulting from this disaster could have, and should have, been avoided.

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