exxon oil spill clean up

exxon oil spill clean up

On his hands and knees, a member of the clean up crew scrubs the oil soaked rocks on Naked Island in the Prince William Sound, April 2,1989

Mike Blake/Reuters.


Cordova is a town on the east coast of Prince William Noise in Alaska. A sound is a section of the ocean that is in between coastlines.

cordova alaska

Cordova, Alaska.

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post by means of Getty Images.


Source: The New York City Times, World Atlas

In the 1970 s and 1980 s, Cordova was a hot area for commercial herring and salmon fishing.

cordova alaska 197src

Snow-covered fishing boats dock for the winter in the Cordova harbor marina in the 1970 s.

Joel W. Rogers/CORBIS/Corbis by means of Getty Images.


Source: The New York City Times

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit a reef in Prince William Sound, spilling more than 11 million gallons of oil into the ocean.

exxon oil spill alaska

Containment booms surround the oil tanker Exxon Valdez after it ran aground in Prince William Noise, Alaska, in March1989

Courtesy NOAA/Handout through REUTERS.


Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The oil spread about 1,300 miles down the coast. At the time, it was the biggest oil spill in history.

prince william sound map

Prince William Sound is on the south coast of Alaska.

Google Maps/Business Expert.


Source: National Geographic

The spill killed 250,000 seabirds, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, 22 killer whales, and around 3,000 sea otters per a National Geographic article.

exxon oil spill

An oil-soaked sea bird rests in a towel in the animal rescue center as it was covered in oil from the Exxon Valdez.

REUTERS/Mike Blake.


Source: National Geographic

The spill also killed billions of salmon eggs and caused the location’s Pacific herring population, which fishermen greatly relied on, to plummet.

1989 alaska oil spill

A crewman from the USCGC Glacier adjusts a containment boom following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Noise, Alaska.

Courtesy United States Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS.


Source: National Geographic

Rick Steiner, a marine biologist, told National Geographic that it’s difficult to tidy up an oil spill entirely. In 2016, Smithsonian Publication said that this is since there is no technology that can clean it up fast enough.

exxon oil spill alaska

U.S. Navy Mechanized Landing Crafts are seen anchored along the coastline as Navy and civilian workers position hoses during oil clean-up efforts in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Courtesy United States Navy/Handout by means of REUTERS.


Source: National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine

By 1994, scientists estimated that 50%of the oil in Prince William Sound had biodegraded, 20%had vaporized, and 14%had been cleaned up.

alaska oil spill 1989 exxon

An effort to consist of oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Sawmill Bay, Prince William Noise, Alaska.

Courtesy United States Coast Guard/Handout by means of REUTERS.


Source: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

That suggests that 16%of the oil remained– 13%in sediments, 2%on coastlines, and 1%remained in the ocean.

exxon oil spill alaska 1989

A sea otter prepares to dive off a dock in the harbor in Cordova, Alaska in1999

JUDY GRIESEDIECK/Star Tribune through Getty Images.


Source: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)- led 2015 study found that these oil levels were connected to growth problems in salmon and herring.

exxon oil spill alaska

Oil is revealed seeping from underground in water in a hole dug on a beach on Eleanor Island, Alaska, in2010

Lindsay Claiborn/Reuters.


Source: American Association for the Improvement of Science

The research study mentioned that fish embryos soak up oil into their skin while they are developing into fully-formed fish and this reduces their capability to swim and their chance of survival.

exxon oil spill 1989

A hand leaks with oil at Smith Island on Alaska’s Prince William Noise on March 30,1989

Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images.


Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Between 1990 and 1992, Alaska caught a record number of salmon and herring. State and federal scientists said this was linked to the lingering oil in the ocean, the New York Times reported in1994

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 8, 2src15 file photo, herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine. A study published Tuesday, June 11, 2src19 finds a warmer world may lose a billion tons of fish and other marine life by the end of the century. The international study used computer models to project that for every degree Celsius the world warms, the total weight of life in the oceans drop by 5%. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine in2015

Associated Press.


Source: The New York City Times

The state sued Exxon following the spill, and the federal government stated the company breached the Clean Water Act, which states that no one can add toxins to water without a license. It cost the oil business more than $1 billion in settlements.

exxon oil spill alaska

Employees steam blast rocks taken in crude oil from the dripping tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Noise, Alaska in1989

Courtesy United States Coast Guard/Handout through REUTERS.


Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Business Insider

In 2006, U.S. and state authorities asked Exxon to pay an additional $92 million for tidying up long-lasting damages. The business declined and in 2015, the judicial action was dropped.

exxon oil spill

A United States Coast Guard patrol boat crosses the bow of the Exxon Valdez as the tanker is pulled to Naked Island for repair work in1989

Courtesy United States Coast Guard/Handout through REUTERS.


Source: Company Expert

More than 32,000 anglers and Alaska locals jointly took legal action against Exxon for its influence on the fishing industry which had caused economic depression in Cordova, The New York Times reported in1994 They demanded $5 billion, however the Supreme Court changed the amount to half a billion in 2008.

exxon oil spill 1989 cordova alaska

Angler RJ Kopchak paints a Supreme Court Exxon Valdez court ruling demonstration banner in Cordova, Alaska, in2008

Bob Hallinen/Anchorage Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images.


Sources: The Washington Post, The New York City Times

After the spill, some who initially transferred to Cordova for the fishing market began traveling south to California. Others relied on odd jobs like construction work.

salmon cordova alaska

Pamela Smith gets some help from her son Jim Smith bottling smoked salmon at their home in Cordova, Alaska, on July 10,2010

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images.


Sources: NPR, The New York Times, NPR

By 2014, salmon, cod, and halibut populations had rebounded in Cordova, but herrings had not.

salmon alaska

Sockeye salmon are seen in Bristol Bay, Alaska, in an undated handout photo supplied by the Epa (EPA).

REUTERS/Environmental Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters.


Source: NPR

The Alaska Department of Fishing and Game has not launched a report on Commercial Herring Fisheries in Prince William Sound in four years. According to the most recent report in 2016, the business harvest of the fish was not most likely the following year.

exxon oil spill alaska

A salesperson at Sugar and Spice in Valdez, Alaska, shows off a few of the most recent in T-shirt styles on sale in1989

Nick Didlick/Reuters.


Source: The State of Alaska, The Alaska Department of Fishing and Video Game

However Cordova’s fishing industry is making do without the herring population. According to a 2018 study, residents made $33 million in gross fish earnings.

CORDOVA, AK fishing

Anglers delight in a lazy night of fishing in Cordova, Alaska, on Monday, August 2,2010

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post by means of Getty Images.


Source: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

In May 2020, the New york city Times reported that the fishing town is worried that about this year’s Copper River salmon season because of the coronavirus. The small town is worried that out-of-state travelers will spread the infection in Cordova.

cordova fishing industry

Russell Dardar, an angler from Montegut, Louisiana, takes a moment to unwind on the ferry trip from Whittier to Cordova, Alaska, in2010

Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post through Getty Images.


Source: The New York Times

Countless fishermen from around the globe travel to the town each year to capture Copper River salmon, which cost about $75 a pound.

Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon in Stone, Colorado, in2005

Mark Leffingwell/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Video Camera through Getty Images.


Source: The New York City Times

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