Response History

responders on the beach

Response History

Oil spills are a constant threat to California’s marine and inland ecosystems. Since 1994, the OWCN has stood ready to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife injured by oil pollution events. What began as an outcry from the public over the impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill has grown into an internationally recognized cooperative of scientists, rehabilitators, and public volunteers.

The OWCN and its partners have continued to develop new technology and methods to capture and care for oiled wildlife. These innovations are tested and refined during both large and small spills so that with each disaster the OWCN uses cutting edge techniques to capture and rehabilitate oiled animals.

Not all spills in California affect wildlife, and not every spill requires a wildlife response. For example, in 2007, 8000 spills were reported, and the OWCN responded to seven. Below is a history of the OWCN responses in California. Scroll down for a history of the spill responses in which the OWCN has provided assistance outside of California.


These following are responses led by the OWCN in California. The OWCN and the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center have also assisted and/or led additional wildlife responses worldwide.

Spill Name Spill Location Start Date End Date
Back Bay Spill Newport Beach Nov-95 Nov-95
Evergreen Newark Mar-96 Mar-96
San Diego Yacht Club Spill San Diego Mar-96 Mar-96
Esco Rubber Co. Brea Apr-96 Apr-96
Big Kahuna Spill San Diego Aug-96 Aug-96
ARCO Spring Spill/Clark Pipeline Huntington Beach Oct-96 Nov-96
Cape Mohican Spill San Francisco Bay Oct-96 Nov-96
Mystery Spill 1996 San Francisco Dec-96 Dec-96
Ballona Creek Spill Long Beach Jan-97 Feb-97
Penitentia Creek Spill Milpitas Jul-97 Jul-97
Torch/Platform Irene Spill Lompoc Sep-97 Oct-97
Santa Cruz/Monterey Mystery Spill Santa Cruz Oct-97 Nov-97
Kure Humboldt Oil Spill Eureka Nov-97 Nov-97
Pt. Reyes Mystery Spill #1 Pt. Reyes Nov-97 Dec-97
El Estero Spill Santa Barbara Dec-97 Jan-98
Pt. Reyes Mystery Spill #2 Pt. Reyes Dec-97 Mar-98
Carson Spill Carson Jan-98 Jan-98
Santa Barbara/Summerland Mystery Spill Toro Canyon Feb-98 Mar-98
Via Con Dios Pacifica Jun-98 Jun-98
T/V Command South Traffic Lane Spill San Mateo Sep-98 Nov-98
El Segundo Refinery Spill El Segundo Dec-98 Dec-98
Wintersburg Channel Spill/Bolsa Chica Huntington Beach Dec-98 Dec-98
College Park Spill Huntington Beach Jan-99 Feb-99
Golden West Spill Huntington Beach Feb-99 Feb-99
Pemex/Rosarito Spill Mexico May-99 May-99
Calloway Canal Spill Bakersfield Jun-99 Jun-99
M/V Stuyvesant Humboldt Spill Eureka Sep-99 Sep-99
Ballona Creek Spill Los Angeles Oct-99 Oct-99
Stockdale Spill Bakersfield Oct-99 Oct-99
Platform Elly/Aera Energy Huntington Beach Nov-99 Nov-99
Malibu Mystery Spill Malibu Feb-00 Apr-00
Santa Paula Creek Santa Paul Feb-00 Feb-00
Hunter's Point Power Plant San Francisco Mar-00 Mar-00
Red Rock Spill/ Pt. Molate Richmond May-00 May-00
Trona Spill Trona Jun-00 Sep-00
Tasco Spill Los Angeles Oct-00 Oct-00
Dominguez Channel Spill Huntington Beach Jan-01 Feb-01
Equilon Spill Long Beach Jan-01 Jan-01
Malibu Mystery Spill Malibu Feb-01 Apr-01
Port Hueneme Spill Port Hueneme Apr-01 Apr-01
Santa Barbara/Phillipa Spill Santa Barbara Sep-01 Sep-01
San Mateo Mystery Spill/Luckenbach Pt. Reyes- Monterey Nov-01 Jan-03
Santa Barbara Mystery Spill Santa Barbara Nov-01 Nov-01
Placentia Creek Spill Placentia Dec-01 Jan-02
Santa Barbara/Central Coast Mystery Spill Santa Barbara Jan-02 May-02
Livermore Diesel Livermore Jun-02 Jun-02
Monterey Mystery Spill Monterey Dec-02 Feb-03
Vegetable Oil Mystery Spill San Francisco Dec-02 Dec-02
Dog Beach/Huntington Beach Mystery Spill Huntington Beach Jan-03 Jan-03
Ballona Creek/Univision Los Angeles Oct-03 Oct-03
Dreamland/Ventura Ventura Nov-03 Nov-03
Kinder Morgan Pipeline Suisun Marsh Apr-04 Apr-04
San Diego Mystery San Diego Oct-04 Oct-04
Ventura Oiled Bird Incident Ventura Jan-05 Apr-05
Oakland Estuary Oakland Feb-05 Feb-05
Pacific Pipelines/Pyramid Lake Los Angeles Mar-05 Mar-05
Westin Hotel Spill Los Angeles Aug-05 Aug-05
SS Palo Alto Seacliff St. Beach Sep-05 Sep-05
Lodi Ashphalt spill Lodi Mar-06 Mar-06
Richmond Santa FE spill Santa Fe Mar-06 Mar-06
Ventura Mystery Event Ventura Apr-06 May-06
Malibu Phoenix Malibu Jun-06 Jun-06
Vallejo Truck Spill Vallejo Jun-06 Jun-06
Eureka Mystery Spill Eureka Nov-06 Dec-06
Moss Landing Diesel Spill Moss Landing Nov-06 Nov-06
San Diego Diesel Spill San Diego Nov-06 Nov-06
Guadalupe River San Jose Dec-06 Dec-06
Crescent City Response Crescent City Jan-07 Jan-07
Vulcan Durbin Quarry Spill Arcadia Jan-07 Jan-07
Ventura Mystery Event Ventura Mar-07 Apr-07
San Leandro Olive Oil Spill San Leandro Jul-07 Jul-08
Tesoro Surge Pond Martinez Oct-07 Oct-07
M/V Cosco Busan San Francisco Nov-07 Jan-08
Moss Landing Mystery Spill - Algae event Santa Cruz Nov-07 Dec-07
Pt. Mugu Mystery Pt. Mugu Jan-08 Jan-08
Allen Cody Spill Humboldt Bay Sep-08 Sep-08
Platform A Spill Santa Barbara Dec-08 Dec-08
Vintage La Habra Heights Brea Apr-09 Apr-09
Dubai Star San Francisco Bay Oct-09 Nov-09
Huntington Beach Channel Huntington Beach Jan-10 Jan-10
Bridgemark Placentia Aug-10 Aug-10
Da Tang 18 Long Beach Nov-10 Nov-10
Dominguez Channel Spill San Pedro Dec-10 Dec-10
Wilmington Spill Wilmington Dec-10 Dec-10
Fenwick Spill Westminster Jun-11 Jun-11
Andrews Logistics Spill Los Angeles Oct-11 Oct-11
LA Channel Spill  Los Angeles Oct-11 Oct-11
Berth 73 San Pedro Dec-12 Dec-12
Chevron El Segundo Refinery El Segundo May-13 May-13
Icebox Canyon - Vintage Ventura May-13 May-13
Dominguez Channel Spill Huntington Beach Sep-13 Sep-13
Royal Pacific Diesel Ventura Nov-13 Nov-13
Andrea Monterey Bay Harbor Monterey Dec-13 Dec-13
Redwood Coast Petroleum  Newark Feb-14 Feb-14
Tesoro Logistics Spill Wilmington Jul-14 Aug-14
Genesis Solar Blythe Oct-14 Nov-14
Shell Refinery Martinez Feb-15 Feb-15
Alameda Marina Alameda Feb-15 Feb-15
Clinton Basin Mystery Spill Alameda Feb-15 Feb-15
Refugio Spill Santa Barbara May-15 Oct-15
Big Lagoon Spill Arcata Dec-15 Dec-15
Istra Ace Spill Los Angeles Mar-16 Mar-16
Grove Incident Ventura Jun-16 Sep-16
Chevron Coalinga Coalinga Dec-16 Dec-16
AWT 44 Spill Taft Jan-17 Feb-17
Ventura Mystery Spill Ventura Feb-17 Mar-17