Exxon Valdez oil spill

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker owned by Exxon Shipping Company that was bound for Long Beach, California struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef, 1.5 mi (2.4 km) west of Tatitlek, Alaska at 12:04 a.m. and spilled 10.8 million US gallons (257,000 bbl) (or 37,000 tonnes)[1] of crude oil over the next few days.[2]

Exxon Valdez oil spill
Three days after Exxon Valdez ran aground
LocationPrince William Sound, Alaska
Coordinates60.8400°N 146.8625°W / 60.8400; -146.8625
DateMarch 24, 1989; 32 years ago (1989-03-24)
Cause
CauseGrounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker
OperatorExxon Shipping Company
Spill characteristics
Volume10.8×10^6 US gal (260,000 bbl; 41,000 m3) (or 37,000 metric tonnes)
Shoreline impacted1,300 mi (2,100 km)

It is considered the worst oil spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment.[3] The Exxon Valdez spill is the second largest in U.S. waters, after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in terms of volume of oil released.[4][5] Prince William Sound's remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane, or boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and made existing response plans especially hard to implement. The region is a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals, and seabirds. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, eventually affected 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, of which 200 miles (320 km) were heavily or moderately oiled.[2][6][7]