Exxon Valdez oil spill still being studied

May 16, 2006

Seventeen years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound, scientists say the oil spill might have been worse than thought.

The researchers say they've found evidence suggesting remnants of the worst oil spill in U.S. history extend farther into tidal waters than previously determined, increasing the probability the oil is causing unanticipated long-term harm to wildlife.

"This study shows it is very plausible that exposure to Exxon Valdez oil is having a material impact on many shore-dwelling animals and is contributing to their slow recovery...," said Jeffrey Short of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau, Alaska. Short and colleagues say much of the oil is buried in beach sediments and could remain hazardous to wildlife for decades.

The supertanker Exxon Valdez stuck an underwater rock formation March 24, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of heavy crude oil into the Sound. Short estimates about six miles of shoreline is still affected by the spill and as much as 100 tons of oil lingers hidden in the Sound.

The findings are available online at the Web site of the journal Environmental Science & Technology and are to appear in the June 15 print issue.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Muddy forests, shorter winters present challenges for loggers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exxon Valdez oil spill, 25 years later

Mar 24, 2014

In the early morning hours of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker sliced into Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef, spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil into pristine Alaskan waters. ...

Exxon Valdez oil spill tanker banned from India

May 09, 2012

The Exxon Valdez tanker that was involved in a huge oil spill off Alaska in 1989 has been banned from entering India where it was due to be dismantled, state officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.