On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Blight Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, this led to spilling of over 11 million gallons of crude oil, killing sea birds, otters, harbour seals, whales, bald eagles and many other wildlife. The spill also caused economic harm to people whose livelihoods depended on commercial fishing in this area.
Exxon helped in cleaning the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to CBS, Exxon spent more than $3.8 billion in clean up costs, fines and compensation.
The Exxon Valdez oil spill took place on March 24, 1989, in the Gulf of Alaska. The ship had run into Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The tanker was traveling outside standard shipping lanes, as they were trying to avoid the icebergs nearby. The ship was carrying over 53,000,000 gallons of crude oil. When it hit the reef, it spilled approximately 11 to 38 million gallons of crude oil, over the course of the next few days. The amount of oil spilled was roughly equal to 17 Olympic sized swimming pools.
The response to the Exxon Valdez involved more personnel and equipment over a more extended period than any other spill in history. Clean- up took a long time, but Exxon did give $2.1 billion in funding for the clean-up. Many of the fish, ducks, bald eagles, seals, seabirds and sea otters were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed Exxon because they did not respond to the disaster as quickly as they should have. Of the wildlife that was saved, a professional team and thousands of volunteers cleaned the oiled birds and sea otters and other animals. A cleaning and recovery facility was set-up.
The three methods that were tried in the effort to clean up the spill were: burning, mechanical clean-up and chemicals to break down the oil. Dawn dishwashing detergent was the method used to clean the animals.