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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – An Environmental Disaster? Essay, Research Paper

The Exxon Valdez Oil SpillAn Environmental Disaster?Presentation byDr. Ed Gilfilan Dr. Gilfilan?s presentation was about the studies that he did after the spill of theExxon Valdez. The Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled 11,000,000 gallons ofoil into the Prince William Sound in Alaska. As the oil mixed with the water it turnedinto a thick mixture called ?mousse?. This mixture came ashore on many of the islands,which was the major part why people saw this event as an awful environmental disaster. The oil spread very quickly towards the south-west due to the prevailing SW winds. Within two weeks it spread 100 miles and in three months it spread 470 miles. In an effort to clean the oil off the beaches the clean up crews decided to usebuldozers to push the boulders into the intertidal zone and let the ocean clean them up. This was on the Barren Islands and Sleepy Bay. During this clean up, they started usinghigh pressure steam and different chemicals to clean up the rocks, but in the process theyalso killed a lot of organisms. There are four types of shorelines in the Prince William Sound. They are: boulderbeach, exposed bedrock, sheltered bedrock and peble and gravel. These shorelines makeup the habitat for many organisms. Even though many of them were killed during theinitial spill, their densities returned to normal after a while. In conclusion, Dr. Gilfilan seemed to believe that the environment regenerate byitself in time, without any help from us.


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