Lessons of the Exxon Valdez

Lessons of the Exxon Valdez

Rick Steiner and Kurt Byers

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This publication features an essay on safe transport of oil, efficient ways of responding to oil spills, and less dependency on petroleum products, and also includes a summary of environmental and biological effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, oil spill containment and cleanup technology, and state and federal legislative action. The essay was written by Rick Steiner, associate professor of fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in Cordova, Alaska, located on Prince William Sound. The morning after the Exxon Valdez spill, Steiner alerted Alaska Sea Grant Director Ron Dearborn of the need for immediate research so that before-and-after comparisons could be made to determine biological effects of the spill. As a result, the University of Alaska was first to dispatch scientists to Prince William Sound. Steiner's ideas have since been included in oil spill contingency plans.

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