exxon valdez oil spill

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exxon valdez oil spill
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posted by pete_nice #

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On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef at 12:04 a.m. In the next few days, the damaged vessel spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea and onto 1,300 miles of coastline. At the time, it was considered to be one of the most devastating corporate-caused oil spills ever.

The Valdez suffered from a number of technical failures (single-walled hull for the tanker, failed radar) and human errors prior to the accident. This included (but not limited to) the understaff and overwork of an exhausted sea crew- a practice that is still prevalent in the shipping industry today.

To combat the accumulation of crude oil on the seashore, a combination of high-pressure hoses and hot water were initially used, which cooked the microorganisms (plankton) that served as the base of the food chain in the ecosystem.

photo: NOAA@wiki

posted by pete_nice #

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In the ensuing months, the media was awash with images of oil-covered wildlife, which briefly galvanized the public against environmental exploitation during the Exxon Valdez crisis.

This public relations mistake was later avoided in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by using copious amounts carcinogenic dispersants before the oil could reach shore.

photo: wikimedia