; LerwThe Long- Term Effects of oil on ecosystems:
A comparison of the Exxon Valdez and the BP oil spill
The Exxon Valdez was a single hull, 987-foot super tanker built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, out of San Diego, California. The Exxon Corporation commissioned this ship into service on December 11, 1986. After the March of 1989 collision with Bligh Reef, the vessel was towed to the shipyard in San Diego and repaired in June of 1989, more than 1,600 tons of steel needed replacing, and the cost of this repair was over $30 million dollars. The Valdez is back in use owned and operated by the Hong Kong Bloom Shipping LTD., renamed the Dong Fang Ocean, and registered out of Panama.
At 12:04 A.M. on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef, Captain Joseph Hazelwood was below decks and intoxicated, the vessel was under the control of the third mate, Gregory Cousins. It was later found that in addition to the intoxicated captain, the third mate, Gregory Cousins, did not have the proper endorsement on his coast guard license to operate a ship in the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, and on top of this Exxon failed to repair the damaged radar that could have prevented the accidental grounding of the ship. At the time of impact, the Valdez was carrying 55 million gallons of crude oil and 11 million gallons of crude was spilt into one of the most delicate, and bountiful marine ecosystems on earth, Prince William Sound. This number of 11 million gallons has been disputed several times and some claim that that actual amount that spilled into Prince William Sound was between 25-32 million gallons of crude oil. The effected area was over 11,000 square miles, and over 1,300 miles of shoreline were impacted.
The clean up efforts were delayed due to insufficient equipment, and the remote location of the spill. The first clean up efforts began with the use of corexit dispersants, but due to insufficient wave action, their use...