In Prince Willian Sound, Alaska, on March 24th of 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occured. The Exxon Valdez was an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, but struck the Bligh Reef off of Alaska and spilled anywhere from 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil for a few days.
The accident left a very large foot print environmentally speaking. The oil spill was the cause of the death and illness of many aquatic species and birds. Almost 250,000 seabirds were killed as a result of the accident, as were 2,800 sea otters, a dozen riber otters, 300 harbor seals, about 247 bald eagles, and 22 orcas were killed along with an emensely large, yet unknown, number of salmon and herring.
In the long run, theres still an estimated 23,000 gallons of oil from the spill still in the soil and sand of Alaska. Much of the wildlife experienced higher death rates and chances of their population dying out. About twenty years after the spill, a team from the University of North Carolina estimates that some of the shoreline arctic habitats may take somewhere around 30 years to recover from the spill. While Exxon Mobil refused to admit to the damage of the wildlife, many showed the shocking proof of the enormous foot print the oil spill had left in the environment.
Exxon ended up spending around $4 billion to repair damage caused by the oil spill. Environmentalists began working to clean up the mess and allowed local residents to volunteer and work to clean up beaches and nurse the wildlife in the area back to health.
As I stated before, there is still an estimated 23,000 gallons of oil from the spill still in the soil and sand of Alaska, making the ground very infertile and the oil residue left behind from the spill will always present a health risk in the area.