Thousands of workers and volunteers helped to clean up after the oil spill, and Exxon provided $2.1 billion in funding. Two escort tugs, for example, accompany every oil laden tanker that motors through Prince William Sound. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Lance BK(1), Irons DB, Kendall SJ, McDonald LL. Delayed efforts to contain the spill and naturally strong winds and waves dispersed nearly 11,000,000 gallons (41,640 kilolitres) of North Slope crude oil across the sound. A commonly used definition, the \"return to conditions as they were before the spill,\" is not realistic for dynamic intertidal systems such as those in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It contaminated 1,300 miles of coastline with 250,000 barrels or 11 million gallons of oil. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Delayed efforts to contain the spill and naturally strong winds and waves dispersed some 10.9 million gallons of North Slope crude oil across the sound. Nearly 19 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court would hear one of the final lawsuits left lingering from the nation's worst environmental disaster. PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND SCP July 1997 Change 3 - October 2014 vi UNIFIED PLAN and SUBAREA CONTINGENCY PLANS Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which (NOAA). Remembering the Exxon Valdez oil spill 30 years later. Online access : Not yet available online: Secondary Sources. In 1989, an Exxon tanker spilled millions of gallons of toxic oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Exxon Valdez: Animal populations in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Just after midnight on March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. A commonly used definition, the "return to conditions as they were before the spill," is not realistic for dynamic intertidal systems such as those in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 24, 1989, when Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker owned by Exxon Shipping Company, bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef, 1.5 mi (2.4 km) west of Tatitlek, Alaska, at 12:04 a.m. and spilled 10.8 million US gallons (260,000 bbl) (or 37,000 metric tonnes) of crude oilover the next few days. Containment booms surround the oil tanker Exxon Valdez after it ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 1989. Prince William Sound Subarea Plan Information. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in March 1989 in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and was one of the worst environmental disasters on record in the United States. Version Change 2, January 2018. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Exxon-Valdez-oil-spill, American Oil and Gas Historical Society - Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Der Prinz-William-Sund (englisch Prince William Sound) ist eine Bucht des Golfs von Alaska mit knapp 5000 km Küstenlinie, östlich der Kenai-Halbinsel. The banding in this photo, from 2003, shows lichen (dark upper band), brown aglae (greenish-yellow), barnacles (white), and mussels (black lower patches). Updates? Corrections? On March 24, 1989, shortly after midnight, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred when an oil tanker crashed onto the shore of Prince William Sound in Alaska on March 24, 1989. Click graphic to see a detailed subarea map (PDF 613K) This plan has been superseded, to view current plans visit the Oil And Hazardous Substance Response Plans webpage. Analysis of results from the first years of the NOAA monitoring program in Prince William Sound indicated that oiled and hot-water washed (a response technique applied during the Exxon Valdez spill) sites initially suffered more severe declines in population abundance than oiled and not-washed sites. It is considered the worst oil spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment. The Valdez spill is the second largest i… Approximately 11 million gallons of oil spilled into the Sound’s rich and productive waters. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, AK 99503 Abstract. We assessed whether sea otters and harlequin ducks in an area of western Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA (PWS), oiled by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), are exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from oil residues 20 years after the spill. Prince William Sound was also the site of a massive oil spill on March 24, 1989, when an Exxon Corporation tanker, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground on Bligh Reef. Exxon Valdez oil spill on the abundance and distribution of birds in Prince William Sound, Alaska. That’s unquestionably the case as we approach the 29 th anniversary of the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill. Remembering the Exxon Valdez oil spill 30 years later. Many other recovery studies have focused on other portions of the ecosystem and other affected habitats, and as a result, there are many assessments of recovery status from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, ALASKA' DAVID B. Prince William Sound was also the site of a massive oil spill on March 24, 1989, when an Exxon Corporation tanker, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground on Bligh Reef. Beach clean-up worker Bill Scheer shows off his oil-covered gear while working on the Exxon Valdez oil spill at Prince William Sound, Alaska, April 13, 1989. Chemical contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (potentially toxic chemical components of oil) in tissues of mussels and clams were significantly elevated over background levels through 1992 for mussels and 1996 for clams. Exxon Valdez oil spill, massive oil spill that occurred on March 24, 1989, in Prince William Sound, an inlet in the Gulf of Alaska, Alaska, U.S. (NOAA), A NOAA biologist examines freshly excavated live adult clams from heavily oiled beach sediment on Block Island, Alaska. These included species differences in infaunal populations (aquatic animals living in gravel beach sediments), different grain size structures that may have resulted from aggressive cleanup, and lower population abundances at oiled sites. Go back to the main Exxon Valdez oil spill page. In NOAA's monitoring program, we studied features that reflect recovery of particular portions of the ecosystem that were directly affected by oil and cleanup in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill. The extent to which it may be having an adverse impact is subject to debate and investigation, but for some people the fact that it remains at all is evidence that recovery has not taken place. The councils were established by Congress following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. If needed, they can steer the tanker, counter any unwanted move or take it … At 12:04 am on March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef off Prince William Sound, Alaska resulting in one of the largest oil spills in United States history. We compared post Exxon Valdez oil-spill … Author information: (1)US Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Management, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA. The Exxon Valdez itself was repaired and returned to service but was legally prohibited by a clause in the Oil Pollution Act from ever reentering Prince William Sound. In 1989, an Exxon tanker spilled millions of gallons of toxic oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. On this day, March 24, in 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and spewed an estimated 11 million gallons of oil into pristine arctic waters. Through the Oil Spill Response Operations program, the Council monitors activities related to the operational readiness of oil spill response personnel, equipment, and organization of the trans-Alaskan pipeline shipping industry. Privacy Policy | Get Email Updates | Website Survey Parallelism-determined recovery of oiled intertidal populations occurred for most study species by 1992-1993. The results provide an analytically and ecologically realistic metric for recovery in a setting that is constantly changing, from year-to-year and over the longer term. 1 - Introduction (PDF 1.3M) A - Response (PDF 291K) B - Resources (PDF 3.9M) C - Hazmat (PDF 3.3M) D - Sensitive Areas (PDF 2.6M) E - Background (PDF 4.6M) F - Scenarios (PDF 1.2M) G - Geographic Response Strategies (PDF 551K) H - Potential Places of Refuge ran aground on Bligh Reef in northeastern Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 42 million liters of crude oil, the largest oil spill in USA history. Other researchers have located surprising pockets of oil remaining on some beaches, and these are being studied to determine why they have persisted for over two decades. The spill was the largest in U.S. history and tested the abilities of local, national, and industrial organizations to prepare for, and respond to, a disaster of such magnitude. However, organisms from both types of oiled sites showed parallelism (i.e., recovery) with unoiled populations on a similar time frame (by 1992-93). Despite these cleanup efforts, the spill exterminated much native wildlife, including salmon, herring, sea otters, bald eagles, and killer whales. Located in Cordova, Alaska in the Prince William Sound area. The Valdez terminal is located in Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska, at the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. After the incident, 33 US Code § 2733 mandated the operation of an automated navigation light to prevent future collisions with the reef. We know that oil remains in Prince William Sound. Our work in the field, laboratory, and statistical theory indicate that, yes, by many criteria, a number of the intertidal communities we study can be considered recovered. Through a long-term monitoring program and related research projects, NOAA continues to study the aftermath of the spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, so that we can improve the way we respond to oil spills. It has been 25 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, which devastated wildlife in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Workers steaming blast rocks covered in crude oil leaking from the, Crews using water from high-pressure hoses to clean oil off rocks on a beach, Naked Island, Alaska, April 21, 1989. On March 24, 1989, an Exxon tanker spilled millions of gallons of oil spilled the! The Sound ’ s Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 1989 spill,! 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