Mystery Oil Slick Kills Seabirds Off California

“A phantom oil slick floating somewhere along a 90-mile stretch of Southern California coastline is killing sea life as investigators scramble to find its whereabouts and origins.

…Scientists were unaware that a killer blob was at sea until birds started turning up a week ago on the shoreline from Santa Barbara to Venice Beach. Most of the birds affected have been Western grebes, though a few are rare pelicans.

…Among the possible sources that investigators are looking into are pipes broken during the La Conchita mudslide that killed 10 people last week, leaking oil platforms in the ocean, seepage from the seafloor, abandoned oil wells, runoff from the Los Angeles metropolis, even cars and trucks that slid into the ocean during the torrential rains that recently pummeled California.” (New York Times )