THIS BORROWED EARTH

Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989


Prince William Sound contains one of the largest undeveloped ecosystems in the United States and one of the continent's largest tidal estuaries, created by the mingling of rivers, tides, and ocean currents. This ecosystem supports a variety of animal life: humpback and orca whales, sea otters and sea lions, salmon, herring, cod and clams, bald eagles, puffins, murres and harlequin ducks, and thousands of other marine mammals and seabirds. The sound is a most beautiful setting, a most abundant and healthy environment.


At least it was until ExxonMobil spilled 11,000,000 gallons of oil into the Sound, killing much of the ecosystem of the Sound.  Thousands of birds, as well as sea otters, ducks, and whales were covered in oil.  Many died.  The subsidence life of the Chugach Eskimo who lived along the Sound was seriously impaired.  The spill affected every living thing in the Sound.  The cleanup has been going on for almost 20 years and yet the oil remains as stubbornly in place as ExxonMobil’s refusal to live up to its obligations to protect the people and environment of the Sound.



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