Long Beach
Fire Department

Fire Headquarters
3205 Lakewood Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90808
(562) 570-2500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 06052015
Local Beaches are now Open to Public
Jake Heflin
(562) 760-6950
Long Beach Fire Department

Long Beach, California – June 5, 2015

Effective 0800 hours today, Friday, June 5, 2015 local area beaches are now open for public use. The Long Beach Fire Department asks that residents and visitors be mindful of the events over the last few days and take extra precaution when walking on the beach or swimming in local waters.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015 the City of Long Beach closed a 4-mile stretch of beach from 1st Place through 72nd Place due to the presence of “Tar Balls” appearing in various locations of the shoreline. A timely and coordinated response from different stakeholders and other City Departments minimized the impact that this event had on the City and our beaches. Resources and manpower were quickly assembled and a plan was devised to initiate a timely clean-up of the unidentified petroleum based product. City services worked throughout the night, communicated with the public and media, and quickly addressed the situation. Samples have been collected for testing, and the results are pending.

The Long Beach Fire Department Marine Safety Division will continue to monitor the current situation on local City beaches. Should "Tar Balls" continue to wash up on our shoreline, appropriate measures to locate and remove the product will be initiated.

Due to the public's heightened awareness of “Tar Balls” on local beaches especially after the recent incident here in Long Beach, we ask that all reports of oil debris be directed to the National Response Center (NRC) Hotline at 1-800-424-8802. You are also encouraged to contact your local area lifeguards at 562-570-1360. Reports of impacted wildlife on our beaches should also be referred to Long Beach Marine Safety.

Residents and visitors are advised to avoid contact with any petroleum based product found on the beach. Contact with oil tars may cause skin irritation and long-term health effects. Beach users are advised to avoid contact with the oil tars washed onshore and/or found in the water.

The Long Beach Fire Department has demobilized the incident command post. Ongoing activities pertaining to this incident will be handled by the Long Beach Fire Department Marine Safety Division.