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The Exxon-Valdez oil spill had killed thousands of marine species.
The Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill is until now the largest oil spill worldwide, in terms of damage to the environment.
The Exxon Valdez departed from the Trans Alaska Pipeline terminal at 9:12 PM March 23, 1989. The ship encountered icebergs and it detoured from the normal shipping lanes to get past the icebergs. For unknown reasons, the ship failed to turn back into the shipping lanes and it ran aground on Bligh Reef at 12:04 AM March 24, 1989.
How did it pollute the environment?
HOW MUCH OIL WAS SPILLED?
10.8 million gallons or 257,000 barrels or 38,800 metric tonnes. Picture the swimming pool at your school or in your community. The amount of spilled oil is roughly equivalent to 125 olympic-sized swimming pools.
HOW MUCH OIL WAS THE EXXON VALDEZ CARRYING?
53,094,510 gallons or 1,264,155 barrels
AREA COVERED BY THE SPILL
From Bligh Reef, the spill stretched 460 miles to the tiny village of Chignik on the Alaska Peninsula.
MILES OF SHORELINE IMPACTED BY OIL
Approximately 1300 miles.
HOW MANY ANIMALS DIED?
The carcasses of more than 35000 birds and 1000 sea otters were found after the spill. However, since most of the carcasses have sunk, this is considered a fraction of the actual death toll. The best estimates are: 250000 seabirds, 2800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales and billions of salmon and herring eggs.
HOW DOES OIL HARM BIRDS AND MAMMALS?
The oil gets onto the fur and feathers of birds and mammals and destroys its insulation value, causing them to die of hypothermia. They may also eat the oil either to remove it from their fur or while scavenging on dead animals, causing them to die from poisoning. The other possibility is that it impacts them in the long-term; it damages their livers, causes blindness or impairs reproduction.
Enough is said on the impact of a tanker accident.
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