Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Exxon Valdez - 20 Years Later

The Exxon Valdez, 3 days after running aground (Photo: NOAA)
It was 20 years ago today that the oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground in the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska in one of the most devastating (if not THE MOST devastating) oil spill of our time. Even now, the effects of this spill are still felt in the surrounding coastal communities, through the loss of livelihoods and irreversible environmental damage. It is heartbreaking to read some of the testimonials from community members who, 20 years later, are still feeling the economic and environmental effects today.

Could this sort of tragedy occur on our own coast? With industry advocating for the 37-year moratorium on oil tankers to be lifted, this type of disaster might be a lot more imminent than we realize. For more information about what the lifting of the moratorium could mean for B.C.'s coastal communities, click here. Also, check out this Oil Spill Model that graphically illustrates how oil spills from shipping accidents would affect ecosystems and communities on the North Coast of B.C.

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