Santa Barbara Oil Spill

If you ignore the water in this shot for a minute…the scenery along this stretch of the California coastline, west of the city of Santa Barbara, is spectacular. You can probably say that this sunset photo doesn’t even do it justice.

The landscape is shaped by faults, with steep hills and river valleys formed as blocks of crust rotated during the development of the San Andreas fault system.

This location is also hugely important for wildlife. The coast of California is a zone of upwelling in the ocean; deep ocean waters with lots of dissolved components rise up, bringing nutrients to the surface waters and feeding a vibrant ocean ecosystem.

That ocean ecosystem though has led to a negative side; the oil slicks you see on the water today.

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