Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

 

George H Bush

Definition and Summary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill
Summary and Definition: The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred shortly after midnight on March 24, 1989 when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, en route from Valdez, Alaska to Long Beach, California, struck and was grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The ship's hull was ruptured and within six hours of the grounding, the Exxon Valdez, captained by Joseph Hazelwood, spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon cargo of crude oil from the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field.

Impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill
The Exxon Valdez oil spill was an ecological disaster of epic proportions resulting in the deaths of of billions of salmon and herring eggs, tens of thousands of seabirds and fish, thousands of sea otters, hundreds of harbor seals and eagles, and more than 20 orca whales. The oil slick spread over 3,000 square miles and onto over 350 miles of beaches in Prince William Sound causing severe financial losses to tourism and the fishing industry.

Exxon Valdez oil spill for kids
George H Bush was the 41st American President who served in office from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 2001. One of the important events during his presidency was the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on the Exxon Valdez oil spill for kids.

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 1:

The Sinking of the Titanic is the most famous ship disaster in history, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster gained notoriety as the worst marine environmental disaster.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 2:

The Exxon Valdez oil spill happened on March 24, 1989 when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker was run aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 3:

Exxon Corporation, known as Standard Oil Company until 1972, was an oil and natural resources company that replaced the Esso, Enco, and Humble brands in the United States on January 1, 1973 and eventually merged with Mobil Corporation as Exxon Mobil in 1999.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 4:

The 'Exxon Valdez' was the name of an oil supertanker operated by the Exxon Corporation at the time of the oil spill disaster.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 5:

The relatively new 'Exxon Valdez' oil tanker was built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company and launched on October 14, 1986. The huge tanker was 987 ft long, 166 ft wide with a depth of 88 ft and had the capacity of carrying 1 .48 million barrels of crude oil.  The 'Exxon Valdez' oil tanker weighed 213,755 deadweight tons and had 11 cargo tanks.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 6:

The story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill began with the discovery of oil in 1986 at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Coast of Alaska.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 7:

Navigation and maritime transit from Prudhoe Bay through Prince William Sound presented a substantial risk of a major oil spill and oil companies were expected to be extremely careful regarding their shipping practices and maritime routes.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 8:

At the time of the disaster the ship was under the control of its captain Joseph Hazelwood, the guidance of an Alaska state pilot  William Murphy, and monitored via radar by the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 9:

The tanker was making its 28th voyage and carried an experienced crew of 19, plus the captain. Other members of the crew included chief engineer Jerry Glowacki, radio officer Joel Roberson and Chief Mate James R. Kunkel.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 10:The ship was routinely heading south through Prince William Sound when Captain Joseph Hazelwood made the decision to change course, outside normal shipping lanes, in order to stay clear of icebergs.
  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 11:

Captain Hazelwood then left the bridge, giving third mate Gregory Cousins instructions to steer the Exxon Valdez back into the original course of the southbound lane, once he had passed Busby Island.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 12:

Captain Hazelwood violated company policy by not being on the bridge during the transit of Valdez Narrows.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 13:

Third Mate Gregory Cousins, who had been working for 18 hours, steered the ship off course to avoid glacial ice, then realized he was heading for Bligh Island and the dangers of Bligh reef, a notorious navigation hazard.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 14:

Cousins desperately tried to change course to the deeper waters of the normal traffic lane but the ship scraped and gashed into the submerged reef and ground to a halt in a very unstable position on Bligh Reef at on March 24, 1989. The vessel was in danger of capsizing if it floated off the reef.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 15:

The ship's single hull was ruptured and eight of the tankers 11 cargo tanks were torn open.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 16:Within six hours of its grounding, the Exxon Valdez  spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound. By 7.00am the oil slick measured about 100 feet wide by five miles long.
  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 17:The catastrophic oil spill resulted in an oil slick that spread over 3,000 square miles and onto over 350 miles of beaches along the remote and scenic Prince William Sound, Alaska.
  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 18:

At 12 p.m. the 'Exxon Baton Rouge' arrived and the remaining 80% of the cargo  (44 million gallons) was retained in the tanker and lightered off the wrecked tanker.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 19:

By this time the oil slick was now three miles wide by five miles long.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 20:

The first, crucial, containment and cleanup efforts failed to effective. Only 4,000 gallons of dispersant were available in nearby Valdez, Alaska and application equipment was practically non-existent.

 

Continued...

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids

 

Presidential Seal

 

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids
The following fact sheet continues with interesting facts and information on the Exxon Valdez oil spill for kids.

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 21:

In a statement on March 30, 1989 President Bush described the Exxon Valdez oil spill as ‘an environmental tragedy.”

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 22:

A burning method was conducted during the early stages of containment efforts in hope of lifting the oil from the water. The burning process was forced to be abandoned because of unfavorable weather conditions.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 23:

Three days after the grounding of Exxon Valdez tanker and the disastrous oil spill, a terrible storm pushed large quantities of fresh oil onto the rocky shores of many beaches throughout the sound.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 24:

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was an ecological disaster of enormous magnitude that resulted in the destruction of billions of salmon and herring eggs and the deaths of tens of thousands of seabirds and fish, thousands of sea otters, hundreds of harbor seals and sea lions, 140 bald eagles, and more than 20 orca whales. 

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 25:

The colossal damage caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill was far-reaching and effected terrestrial mammals, such as deer, river otters and brown bears who inhabited the wilderness of surrounding areas.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 26:

Environmental workers worked tirelessly to save seals, otters, and birds that were covered in oil. The oiling of fur or feathers caused loss of insulating capacity which led to death from hypothermia, smothering, drowning, and ingestion of toxic chemicals.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 27:

The clean-up operation began, but no sooner had clean-up crews sprayed the coastline rocks with steam hoses, the changing tides brought in a new coating of oil.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 28:

The clean-up effort involved 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats and 100 airplanes and helicopters. Exxon Corporation later stated it had spent about $2.1 billion on the cleanup effort.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 29:

Halfway through the summer of 1989, new technologies and techniques were developed to help the clean-up process. The oil was biodegraded (broken down) by combinations of microorganisms that were sprayed onto some of the rocks and beaches.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 30:

Evaporation, dissolution, dispersion, and photo-oxidation: The natural evaporation process increased in the warmer temperatures of the summer. Components of crude oil started to dissolve in water and the dispersion process began breaking up the oil into small droplets which spread through the water. Sunlight began to react with some oil constituents in the process known as Photo-Oxidation speeding up the process of degradation.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 31:

The Exxon Valdez oil spill had a devastating impact on the economy and caused severe financial losses to tourism and the fishing industry

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 32:

Land and business owners, fishermen and Native American Alaskans harmed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill began filing civil lawsuits against Exxon Corporation.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 33:

The legal cases were eventually combined for the trial and after several appeals by the corporation the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the corporation should pay $2.5 billion in damages.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 34:

The 1990 Oil Pollution Act was passed to make tankers safer. The act provide for the standard regulation of double hulls on tankers. The regulation requiring double hulls on tankers ensured that if the outer layer of a tanker was punctured, no oil will escape.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 34:

After the spill, the Exxon Valdez tanker was towed to San Diego, repaired, and renamed the Exxon Mediterranean. The Exxon Valdez tanker was banned from ever entering Alaskan waters again. The vessel was eventually beached on August 2, 2012.

  
Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts - 36:

The captain of the vessel, Joseph Hazelwood, was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of negligent discharge of oil. Hazelwood was fined $50,000, and sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service, which he served in Anchorage, Alaska. He was then employed as a maritime consultant with Chalos & Brown,the New York law firm that had represented him during his trial.

Exxon Valdez oil spill Facts for kids

Exxon Valdez oil spill - President George H Bush Video
The article on the Exxon Valdez oil spill provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following George H Bush video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 41st American President whose presidency spanned from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 2001.

 

 

 

Exxon Valdez oil spill
 
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Summary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in US history
Exxon Valdez oil spill of important, key events
George H Bush from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 2001
Fast, fun facts about the Exxon Valdez oil spill
Foreign & Domestic policies of President George H Bush

George H Bush Presidency and Exxon Valdez oil spill for schools, homework, kids and children

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