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LA Water Keeper


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West

Orange County Oil Spill: Drilling is Killing

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  • This article details a 2021 oil spill off the coast of Southern California. 
  • Students will learn about how the spill impacted the ocean and land near Orange County and find links to help support clean-up efforts, report leaks, or stay updated on this spill. 

Teaching Tips


  • This article is easy to read and provides a real-world example of the risks of fossil fuel extraction. 
  • The included images add information and are helpful for visual learners. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some background knowledge of oil spills and their impacts. 


  • This article would work well in a science class discussing human impacts on ecosystems, a language arts class working on informative reading strategies, or a social studies class discussing how laws impact industries and ecosystems.
  • This article would make a great component in a text set about oil spills. 
  • After reading, have a class discussion about the impacts of oil spills and the author's perspective. 
Scientist Notes
This resource highlights the implication of oil drilling and spillage on the natural ecosystems. This has caused habitat loss and adversely impacted biodiversity. It calls for an immediate halt on oil drilling from oil companies to abate the pollution caused to humans and the environment. There are no contradictions in this resource. On that account, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.10 By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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