Coast Guard responds to report of possible pollution near Santa Monica

Santa Maria, Calif. – The Coast Guard along with California Department of Fish and Game responded to a report of a black substance that was in the water and also washed up on shore near the Santa Maria Estuary Monday.

The report came into the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Santa Barbara who dispatched pollution investigators. The pollution investigators reported to the scene and confirmed the material in the water as organic matter believed to be residue, ash and soot. The organic matter is currently covering the beach area and as well as portions of the Santa Maria River outflow. Two abandoned well heads have been uncovered by the river outflow and are being investigated by the State of California.

An MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles was also dispatched to do an over flight of the area and to assist with determining a possible source.

Agency responders concluded the source of the organic matter was due to the recent heavy rains in the area.

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