A huge slick of oil stalked the coast Tuesday as officials frantically tried to protect ecologically sensitive shorelines and investigators probed whether a ship’s anchor caused a pipe breach that sent tens of thousands of gallons of crude into the waters off Orange County.
The oil continued to move south after fouling beaches and wetlands in Huntington Beach on Sunday. While much of it remained off the coast, some did wash up in Laguna Beach on Monday.
A map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projecting the movements of the oil spill showed it moving south. The map, reviewed by The Times, indicated the greatest threat to the shore remains in the area between Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach.
Officials involved in the spill response believed that as of Saturday evening, the oil had reached San Diego County, according to materials obtained by The Times.
The spill was initially estimated at about 126,000 gallons of crude, but late Monday, state and federal officials said that number could be closer to 144,000 gallons.
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