Effective immediately, and in order to protect the public’s health, the Santa Barbara County Health Officer has closed the following beach ocean waters for public use until further notice: Gaviota Beach down the coast to the county line at Rincon Point.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following beaches: Gaviota, Refugio, El Capitan, Sands at Coal Oil Point, Goleta State Beach, Hope Ranch, Arroyo Burro, Leadbetter, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, Butterfly, Hammond’s, Summerland, Carpinteria State Beach.

People should not enter the water as levels of bacteria highly exceed standard levels. All ocean water in these locations should be considered contaminated and no recreational activities or swimming should take place. This order does not include the sandy beaches themselves.

Future ocean water testing results will inform the decision about when to re-open the beach ocean waters for public use.

The mudslides and runoff from this week’s heavy rain contains unknown amounts of untreated sewage and chemical contaminants.

Additionally there are California Office of Emergency Services reports of hazardous materials washing up on the beaches having potential to pose a threat to public health and safety.

The ocean water testing chart below reflects testing results.

(Public Health Department photo)