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You are here News Environment Exoxon Valdez 25years later: 'Beaches and wildlife will never entirely recover'

Exoxon Valdez 25years later: 'Beaches and wildlife will never entirely recover'

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Exxon Valdez[On March 24, 1989] more than 11 million gallons of black crude gushed into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound.

...Oil reached beaches 650 miles away. Killer whales, eagles, otters, seals and thousands of sea birds died excruciating deaths while Alaska's famous salmon and herring were ruined. The pictures of distressed animals expiring and grief-stricken locals trying to scrub beaches coated with toxic filth shocked the world.

The event is still seared into the minds of those who witnessed it, even a quarter of a century later. But the Exxon Valdez has left more than memories.

On the anniversary, state senator Berta Gardner is pushing for Alaskan politicians to demand that the US government forces ExxonMobil Corporation to pay up a final $92 million (£57 million), in what has become the longest-running environmental court case in history. The money would primarily be spent on addressing the crippled herring numbers and the oiled beaches.

"There's still damage from the spill. The oil on the beaches is toxic and hurting wildlife. We can't just say we've done what we can and it's all over – especially with drilling anticipated offshore in the Arctic Ocean – this is significant for Alaska and people around the world," she told The Telegraph.

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