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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

ARGO MERCHANT ran aground.
Courtesy of NOAA
Oiled beach from Exxon spill.
Courtesy of NOAA

Exxon Valdez - The History

On March 23, 1989 the Exxon Valdez spilled about 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska. In the months that followed, workers collected more than 36,000 oiled birds and more than 1000 sea otters. The number of sea creatures killed was several times the number saved. The sea otter population is still on its way to recovery.

The Oil Spills Continue

On June 23, 2000, environmentalists scrambled to rescue thousands of jackass penguins after an oil spill in South Africa. Just off the coast of Cape Town, about 20,250 penguins covered in oil were brought into care and thousands more were released into clean ocean hundreds of miles away. Today, the greatest threat to these penguins comes from oil spills and with ship traffic increasing, more ships are operating that shouldn't even be in the water.

Why Do Oil Spills Keep Happening?

Oil spills keep happening all the time. In fact, there was an oil spill off the coast of Oman on March 23, 2004 - just one day short of the 15 year anniversary of the Exxon spill. In 1990 the Oil Pollution Act was passed, clearly specifying ship maintenance standards. I believe that the only reason ships considered unseaworthy are being used to deliver oil is because some companies are money hungry. With little or no thought to our wildlife, they push a ship on its last leg just so they gain in the end. If companies used common sense, and some thought about our wildlife, before using a rickety ship, not only would they save themselves the cost of clean up, but prevent such wildlife devastation.

Do you think more should be done to protect our wildlife from oil spills? Are you concerned about this problem? and give us your opinion.

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Penalty When Companies Spill Oil?

  • Heavy fines - big bucks.
  • Lock em up and throw away the key.
  • Forgive and forget - cuz what's the big deal?
  • The CEO's should be forced to swim naked through oil.

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