Oil lines the shore  on Refugio Beach after a 2015 oil spill, Santa Barbara, CA

Refugio Beach Oil Spill Trustees Release a Draft Assessment and Restoration Plan for Public Comment

NOAA, and the state and federal Trustees working on restoring habitat and resources impacted by the Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, have released a draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 173 pages) for public comment. 

Two cleanup workers in white protective gear and yellow boots stand next to oiled rocks and ocean in background.

$22.3 Million Proposed to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Refugio Beach Oil Spill

March 13, 2020 - Today the Department of Justice announced filing for public comment of a consent decree proposing a $22.3 million settlement to restore natural resources injured by the Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, California in 2015. 

Kelp forests like this one of of Catalina Island provide shelter and food for fish and invertebrate species.

NOAA Announces Partnership to Restore Habitats Damaged by Oil and Hazardous Waste

NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are joining forces to restore habitat damaged from oil spills and hazardous waste releases in California. An initial cooperative agreement between the two organizations includes a recommendation of $1.5 million for restoration with potential for additional funding to support similar projects in other regions over the five-year time period.

Eelgrass along the bottom provides foraging areas and shelter for fish. NOAA photo by Adam Obaza.

10 Years Later: Restoring Injured Natural Resources after Cosco Busan

This is the fifth and final in a series of stories in remembrance of the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill that happened a decade ago on Nov. 7, 2007. This piece focuses on the continued restoration efforts funded by the $44.4 million settlement and takes a closer look at two species in particular — eelgrass and rockweed.

Starting to Rebuild

Though a decade has now passed since the Cosco Busan oil spill, restoration efforts are still underway in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

This photo was taken during an overflight near Richmond Bridge. A sheen with brown oil in the convergence was visible. Photo credit NOAA.

Assessing Cosco Busan: The Damage From 10 Years Ago

This is the third in a series of stories in remembrance of the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill that happened a decade ago on Nov. 7, 2007. In his blog, Greg Baker talks about the assessment phase that followed the initial response.

As The Fog Cleared

Beach Watch surveyors. Image credit: Jan Roletto/ GFNM

Sentinels of the Coast: Surveying the Beaches After Cosco Busan

This is the fourth in a series of stories in remembrance of the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill that happened a decade ago on Nov. 7, 2007. Mary Jane Schramm shares the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary’s response efforts and the volunteer involvement that took place following the spill.

The Incident: Early Days

This photo is from a press conference at Fort Mason following the Cosco Busan oil spill. Fort Mason was the Incident Command Post during the oil spill response.

The Initial Call: Looking Back 10 Years to the Day of the Cosco Busan Oil Spill

This is the second in a series of stories in remembrance of the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill that happened a decade ago on November 7, 2007. In his blog, Jordan Stout, with NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration, our Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) partner, goes back to the morning of the spill and the days and months that followed.

The Initial Call

Remembering Cosco Busan: An Overview of the 2007 Oil Spill

This is the first in a series of blogs in remembrance of the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill that happened 10 years ago on Nov. 7, 2007. See links below for related articles and blogs taking a look back at this oil spill and it's aftermath.

The Spill

Crews recover boom from Refugio Beach Oil Spill.

Refugio Beach Oil Spill—What Happens Next?

Oil is being cleaned up from the shoreline and beaches are beginning to reopen following the Refugio Beach Oil Spill that took place in Santa Barbara County on May 19, 2015. 

Case Pages:

Oil on the beach at Refugio State Park in Santa Barbara, California, on May 19, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard)

Refugio Beach Oil Spill

Oil Spill | Santa Barbara County, California | May 2015

On May 19, 2015, a pipeline owned and operated by Plains All America Pipeline ruptured near Refugio State Beach. Over 100,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled, much of which ran down a storm drain and into a ravine under the freeway, entering the ocean.

Southern Castro Cove and Chevron Richmond Refinery. Wildcat Creek entering Castro Cove in the background.

Castro Cove

Hazardous Waste Site | Richmond, California | 1902 to 1987


Taking measurements of young bald eagles during banding at Fraser Point on Santa Cruz Island. (Institute for Wildlife Studies)


Hazardous Waste Site | Torrance, California | 1940s to 1970s

From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, millions of pounds of DDT and PCBs were discharged into ocean waters off the southern California coast.

An approximate 100-foot gash in the hull of the vessel resulted in a 53,000 gallon fuel oil spill.

M/V Cosco Busan

The container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck one of the towers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on the morning of November 7, 2007. The impact tore a large gash in the hull of the vessel, releasing 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into the water.