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

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — On October 14, 2020 a $22.3 million settlement was finalized to restore natural resources injured by the 2015 Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, California. The settlement will go toward resolving natural resource damage claims, restoring habitats and wildlife injured by oil, and compensating the public for lost recreational opportunities. 

Oil covering a large portion of a beach.
Oil on the beach at Refugio State Park in Santa Barbara, California, on May 19, 2015. Image credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

To ensure the restoration projects funded by this settlement best benefit communities, economies, and ecosystems, a draft restoration plan was subject to public comment. Review of and response to these comments are underway, and a final restoration plan will be released with these comments taken into consideration. 

NOAA worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; the California Department of Parks and Recreation; the California State Lands Commission; and the Regents of the University of California as co-trustees. The co-trustees also worked cooperatively with the responsible party.

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Last updated Sunday, November 1, 2020 5:19pm PST