A 986ft vessel “Exxon Valdez” departed from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline on March 23rd 1989. After going through the Valdez narrows, it encountered icebergs in the shipping lanes. They went outside of the shipping lanes and when the captain had requested that they re-enter them, the ship didn’t, causing the ship to run aground on Bligh Reef on March 24th.
The jury in Alaska found the Captain not guilty of operating a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol.
- 11 million gallons of oil was spilt. One of the largest spills in the US, in terms of damage to the environment.
- 1,300 Miles of coastline was impacted by oil.
- 200 miles were heavily or moderately covered in oil.
- Cleanup cost 2.1 billion USD.
- The Spill took 4 summers to clean – and then it was called off. Some beaches are still unclean.
- 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats and 100 planes.
- Hot water treatment was used until it appeared that the water may be doing more damage than the oil, as small organisms were being cooked by the hot water. High pressure cold water was used instead of this. Beaches were fertilized to promote growth of microscopic bacteria that eat hydrocarbons.
- ~250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbour seals, 250 eagles and 22 killer whales died.