In early March 1989, Prince William Sound in Alaska was about to make news headlines.
Frontier Scientists counts down to the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
In video Prince William Sound Remembered, we are digging up archival videotapes and photographs. These memories are significant.
Prince William Sound (PWS) conjures up different things for different people. Kelly Weaverling, kayak guide, said: “It is close to paradise on earth.”
“Simply one of the more lovely and productive and unique coastal habitats in Southern Alaska,” declared Rick Steiner, University of Alaska professor and marine advisor for the Prince William Sound region.
Jack Lamb, fisherman, said: “If you have an imaginative picture of wildlife, wilderness and beauty, it is Prince William Sound.”
Riki Ott, marine biologist, came to PWS for a break from her doctorate. Dr. Ott remembered, “What I saw was this whole intricate food web set in these mountains with glaciers tumbling right down to the sea.”
Cordova’s mayor during 1989, Erling Johansen, detailed: “The economy of Cordova has, as its foundation, the healthy marine environment of Prince William Sound.”
During the Alaska Marine Sciences Symposium special session, January 2019, Frontier Scientists listened to the vivid memories of scientists and clean-up participants. Panel discussions at the the Alaska Forum on the Environment cover topics such as ‘Are we there yet? Restoration, Recovery, and monitoring After Exxon Valdez.’
Oil continues to have significant impact on our lives. Oil revenues, jobs, and the convenience of oil products don’t seem as important lately when considering the detrimental effects of oil use on humanity’s well-being, and Earth’s climate.
Coming up, FS will describe scientific consensus gained from the past 30 years of research, and the scientific community’s warnings of impending change. In this countdown we investigate background materials to best describe life in and around Prince William Sound, Alaska. We explore current and past scientific studies and local observations about related science. Finally, we’ll examine the Exxon Valdez oil spill which occurred 30 years ago, March 23, 1989.
Liz O’Connell – March 12, 2019