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Oil Spills

It was 9:12 p.m. on March 23,1989, when the Exxon Valdez ship, carrying more than 53 million gallons of crude oil, left for Long Beach, California. It was the beginning of one of the worlds worst oil spills ever. The captain and the attendants had little concern when leaving the trans-Alaska pipeline terminal in Valdez. It was just another routine trip, ships had safely transited through the area more than 8,700 times in the 12 years since the oil began flowing through that pipeline.
As the ship approached the shipping lanes they encountered several icebergs. The captain Joe Halzwood, who had consumed a few alcoholic beverages, was anxious to arrive and ordered a helsman to attempt to go around the icebergs. He then proceeded to bed instead of surveying the attempt to go through the icebergs.
The ship did not manage to make it into the shipping lanes, instead it ran aground on Bligh Reef, rupturing 8 if its 11 cargo tanks and spewing more than 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sounds, causing one of the biggest environmental disasters in the United States.
The spill spawned some major clean-up attempts. A massive clean-up spanning four summers took place. Involving over 10,000 workers, 1,00 boats and 100 airplanes and helicopters. Exxon itself has already dumped $750 million dollars into the cleanup of the area. It also led to the passing of the federal Oil Pollution act, which seeks to diminish the environmental consequences of spills, and prompted essential changes in industry safety standards and emergency-response planning.
Today, the spill does not even rank in the top 50 largest spills around the world, though it may have caused the most environmental damage. Prince William Sound is home to an abundance of wildlife, birds , salmons, whales, sea otters and bald eagles are all animals that called it home. The oil spill had a massive effect on all of these populations. Prin

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