Memorial Day weekend is one of the most popular tourist holidays of the year. Unfortunately, this year, Santa Barbara was unable to capitalize on the holiday tourism due to the oil spill that caused a state of emergency. According to an article by KPLCTV.com, many businesses and the State Park and Rec have lost a great deal of money throughout the Santa Barbara region due to the oil spill driving off tourists.
Two popular state parks are closed for at least another week. While, local businesses have had less customers and ultimately closed down for the weekend. In addition to this tragic oil spill, Santa Barbara is also dealing with the statewide drought that has plagued California for the last four years.
On May 19th, an oil pipeline ruptured on the coast of Santa Barbara County and began to cover the beautiful shoreline with a toxic blackness. At first, an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil leaked into the ocean. Roughly one week later, and the estimates are up to 101,000 gallons.
Oil spanned for 9 miles down the coastline and has had a serious impact on the wildlife. Each passing day, more animals are being discovered hurt and sick due to this oil spill. As of today, roughly 20 percent of the oil has been cleaned up.
It’s going to take several months, and maybe even a few years, before we see the true devastation of this oil spill on the coastal habitat. As for the tourism, Santa Barbara hopes to rebound this summer. But, with increased water restrictions, this oil spill could have an even greater impact on the region’s 2015 tourism revenue.