On March 23, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck the Bligh Reef off the coast of the island Bligh. The tanker's hull was punctured and it started to leak a large quantity of oil. The oil spread throughout the coast of Alaska and affected over 1,300 miles of shore and 11,000 square miles of ocean. The oil spill killed over 100,000 to as many as 250,000 seabirds, at least 2,800 sea otters, approximately 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 Bald Eagles, and 22 orcas. It also contaminated billions of salmon and herring eggs.
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This is a picture of the shoreline after the Exxon oil Spill

There was many causes why this disaster occurred in March 23, 1989. First off the third mate,who maneuvers the vessel may have been fatigued or had an oversizes workload. The master watch of the vessel was not able to provide proper navigation, possibly due to alcohol consumption. Exxon Shipping Company failed to supervise the master and provide a good and rested crew for the Exxon Valdez. As well the U.S. Coast Guard failed to implement a smoothing operating traffic system. There was also a lack of a good pilot and escort resources. After the spill, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was established to prevent any oil tanker from entering the Bligh Reef area to prevent another spill from happening.

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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/facts/qanda.cfm>.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill>.