25 Years After Exxon Valdez, A New Crash Fouls Nation's Waters

"The impacts of oil spills continue long after the TV cameras have gone home."

03-24-2014 // Lacey McCormick
Chandeleur Sound Discoloration

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground, spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil into Prince William Sound. On Saturday, an oil barge collided with a ship in Texas’ Galveston Bay, spilling an unknown amount of oil near important bird habitats as the height of spring migration approaches.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, responded to this news on the anniversary of one of the nation’s worst oil spills:

"Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound, it appears we have not yet learned our lesson. This weekend, a barge collided with a ship in Texas’ Galveston Bay, spilling an unknown amount of heavy oil and threatening important habitat for migrating birds.

"The impacts of oil spills continue long after the TV cameras have gone home. It is still possible to find oil on the shores of Prince William Sound that is nearly as toxic as it was a quarter-century ago. Sea otter populations have recently returned to pre-spill levels, but orcas, herring and many other species still have a long road to recovery.

"Oil companies have spent tens of millions of dollars persuading Congress to put their profits ahead of our safety. We can make sure that nothing like this ever happens again by holding polluters fully accountable today and moving the country quickly towards cleaner sources of energy for tomorrow."

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