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The Exxon Valdez oil spill in the Prince William Sound of Alaska proved to be a disaster on many levels The coastline wildlife and people of the all area were all devastated by the spill Ten years later the area is showing remarkable progress Because of the cleanup efforts and new regulations the Sound is getting ever closer to recoveryA few minutes after midnight on March 24 1989 the TV Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound A few minutes later the coast guard received a radio message from the ships captain Joseph Hazelwood Weve fetched up ah hard aground north of Goose Island off Bligh Reef and ah evidently leaking some oil Were going to be here for a whileKnickerbocker Big Spill 12 That radio call was the beginning of the worst oil spill in United States history The some oil that Hazelwood was referring to ended up being an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil The oil covered nearly 1300 miles of shoreline and eventually reached beaches 470 miles away McAllister C14 At the time of the spill officials had no immediate plan for cleaning up the oil The spill struck in a remote part of a state where the population of caribou easily outnumbers people Spokesman for the Govoners office David Ramseur agreed You need a lot of people and a lot of equipment and we dont have enoughMcAllister C14 At the time that statement was sadly true The area just wasnt prepared to handle a spill of that magnitude Other than the coastline the spill also effected the local residents of the area primarily the regions wildlife The spill ultimately killed more than 250000 seabirds at least 2800 sea otters 300 harbor seals 150 bald eagles and 14 to 22 killer whales along with billions of herring eggs number6 This proved to be equally detrimental to the 7200 human residents of Southern Alaska The fishing
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