Orange County’s Coastal Waters Plagued by Trash, Sewage


The recent oil spill off the coast revealed just a part of the more significant pollution crisis that Orange County beaches face.

Editor’s Note: This story series was produced by Chapman University journalism students working with the VOC Collegiate News Service.

The idea for the series was sparked by the fall oil spill off Orange County’s coast. But it also goes further — examining the seen and unseen pollution across the local environment — in drinking water sources, ocean waters, on land and in the air. We hope with this series to give residents balanced and informative stories that people can use to be empowered in the community. If you have questions, comments and story ideas please contact Sonya Quick, digital editor at Voice of OC and Chapman adjunct professor.

Although Southern California’s beaches are the healthiest they’ve been in the past two decades, the oil spill has renewed attention to the fact that ocean pollution is still a threat. 

The Gulf of California stretches over 900 miles, supporting diverse marine life, including many sharks, whales, fish, and squid. 



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