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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

The Exxon Valdez oil spill: explain the history of the event including how the situation reached a crisis point. Document as many sides of the situation as possible and include the resolution, if any was reached, of the crisis. If there was no resolution, speculate on how the crisis may be resolved in the future.

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The Exxon Valdez incident is among the worst environmental disasters of all time. In 1989, an oil tanker owned by Exxon ran into reefs off the coast of Prince William Sound, a pristine coastline with abundant fish and wildlife. The tanker spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the sea. The immediate aftermath was the death of many seabirds, seals and otters, in spite of efforts to capture and clean affected animals. Scientists estimate mass mortalities of 1000 to 2800 sea otters, 302 harbor seals, and hundreds of thousands of seabirds in the days immediately after the oil spill (Cutler 2010). Crude oil contaminated 1300 miles of coastline along Prince William Half of the sea otter population perished. This was especially troubling, because sea otters help to keep the sea urchin population in check "preventing them from overgrazing kelp and other macroalgae, and thereby retaining structural habitat for fishes and invertebrates" (Peterson et al 2003).

After this initial crisis period, longer term problems began. Tourism and fishing industries were devastated by the spill - to Alaskans who depended on these businesses, the crisis period lasted for several years after the spill. Eventually many Alaskans received some compensation for their losses. Due to financial hardship, ...

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The solution discusses the Exxon Valdex Oil Spill.