LONG BEACH, CALIF. USA -- Low clouds can be seen rolling past Island White from the view from Bluff Park in Long Beach, Calif. on October 10, 2011.
THUMS Islands are a set of four artificial islands off the coast of Long Beach that were built to tap into the East Wilmington Oil Field. The landscaping and sound walls were designed to camouflage the operation and reduce noise, and they are the only decorated oil islands in the United States.
the islands were named after the parent companies who bid for the island contract: Texaco, Humble Oil (now Exxon), Union Oil, Mobil Oil, and Shell Oil. The rim of the islands are made of 640,000 tons of boulders from Catalina Island, and the islands were then filled with 3.2 million cubic yards of dredged material from the bay.
The islands were renamed in 1967 after the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1: Island Grissom, Island White, and Island Chaffee. The fourth island is named for Theodore Freeman, an astronaut who died while piloting a T-38 Talon jet for NASA.
The islands and operation were purchased by Occidental Petroleum in 2000
Photo by Jeff Gritchen / Long Beach Press-Telegram