Refugio State Beach

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Refugio State Beach
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Refugio State Beach in January 2013
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Location Santa Barbara, California, United States
Nearest city Santa Barbara
Coordinates 34°27′44″N120°4′21″W / 34.46222°N 120.07250°W / 34.46222; -120.07250 [1] Coordinates: 34°27′44″N120°4′21″W / 34.46222°N 120.07250°W / 34.46222; -120.07250 [2]
Area20 acres (8.1 ha)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Refugio State Beach (Chumash: Qasil, "Beautiful" [3] ) is a protected state beach park in California, United States, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Santa Barbara. [4] One of three state parks along the Gaviota Coast, it is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west of El Capitán State Beach. During the summer months, the Junior Life Guard program resides at the beach during the day.


The Refugio oil spill occurred just north of the park in 2015 when a pipeline carrying crude oil ruptured. The spill went into a culvert that ran under US 101 and into the ocean. The spill spread over 7 miles (11 km) of coastline, including Refugio and El Capitán state beaches. The parks were closed during the clean-up, including during the typically busy Memorial Day weekend. The pipeline which caused the disaster is no longer in service. [5]

See also

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The Orange County oil spill on October 1, 2021, is an oil spill that deposited crude oil onto popular Southern California beaches on the West Coast of the United States. While residents reported smelling fumes, a ship noticed an oil slick that evening and reported it to federal authorities. When oil from an underwater pipeline in the waters of coastal Orange County began washing ashore, officials in Huntington Beach closed the typically crowded beach in the evening of October 2. The U.S. Coast Guard estimated that spill covered 8,320 acres (3,370 ha) of the ocean's surface as they monitored it several times daily from the air. Investigations found a 17.7-mile (28.5 km) pipeline connecting offshore oil platforms with the shore had been displaced, possibly by being dragged by a ship's anchor.


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Refugio Beach State Park
  2. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Refugio Beach State Park
  3. McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (2002). California’s Chumash Indians : a project of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Education Center (Revised ed.). San Luis Obispo, Calif: EZ Nature Books. ISBN   0936784156.
  4. "Refugio SB" . Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  5. Panzar, Javier; Reyes, Emily Alpert; Mozingo, Joe (May 23, 2015). "Santa Barbara County oil cleanup continues; pipeline may be dug up soon". Los Angeles Times .