Time Travel History - The Story Of The Exxon Valdez
25 Years Ago, The Exxon Valdez Ran Aground
More On This Day. It is one of the most environmentally damaging oil spills in world history. Exxon Valdez Strikes Bligh Reef. A series of mishaps that night would lead to one of the largest oil spills in modern history. Under the orders of Capt.
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Joseph L. Hazelwood, the Valdez steered out of its normal shipping lane to avoid icebergs. However, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill occurred in the non-continuous coastline of Alaska, its effects and ramifications were huge and enormous. As the collision of the supertanker with the reef ruptured 8 of its 11 cargo tanks, releasing 11 million gallons of crude oil, barrels-into the waters of Prince William Sound in the days to come, over 1, miles of coastline was contaminated.
It was reportedly a delay in initiating the cleanup efforts that made this accident catastrophic. The oil slick spread to more areas within days, making it no longer containable. As the oil slick spread, the ecosystem consisted of a variety of marine and other species was under threat.
Plants and marine mammals in the cold region, which were already facing the threat of extinction because of the rise in temperatures, had to deal with this human error. In addition, seabirds were also forced to succumb to this disaster as the oil slick in the water trapped them to drown eventually.
It is estimated that almost , seabirds, 2, sea otters, up to harbour seals, bald eagles and at least 22 killer whales were killed in this deadliest accident. In addition, the spill has also ended the lives of an unknown number of herring and salmon, the investigations conducted in the following months revealed. As an immediate result, the fisheries for crab, herring, rockfish, salmon and shrimp etc.
While it affected many financially, the indirect impact of the oil spill was visible on the several ends of the fishing industry. The ill-effects of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill were not only for the marine creatures but also for the people residing in the adjacent areas of Prince William Sound.
One of the immediate short-term effects of the casualty caused by the Exxon Valdez was the impact on recreational fishing which was carried out in the Prince William Sound. This was greatly hampered because of the penetration of oil into the waters. Additionally, tourism was also hampered throughout Alaska after the accident. The number of tourists arrived in Alaska was in record low for almost a year following the oil spill, making a significant impact on the local economy. However, most importantly, the impact of the oil spill was not just limited to this.
The long-term impact of the accident was and is being felt more on the eco-system and the environment. And, in spite of the fact that the company Exxon Mobil helped greatly in the clean-up operations along with the US Coast Guard, the inadvertent-yet-avertable accident caused by the Exxon Valdez ended up leaving a huge impact.
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Remembering The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, 25 Years Later
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Remembering the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - The Atlantic
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