Wildlife officials reported Monday that four birds had been recovered from the oil, and one pelican had to be euthanized due to its injuries. Four birds may not seem like a lot, but the spill’s full impact on wildlife might not be limited to birds rescued from the initial spill site. Huntington Beach is surrounded by habitat for endangered and threatened wildlife, which continue to be at risk from the spreading oil.
A 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of marshes in Huntington Beach are also crucial stops along the Pacific Flyway. Upwards of 90 species of birds make a pit stop in the marshes during their seasonal migration between the tropics and the poles. The state set up more than 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) of booms around the spill area to try and keep oil from spreading into those sensitive habitats. However, on Monday, oil had begun to seep past the booms into the marshes.