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Published May 2002 - Ongoing Update
LGVN Environment - Oil Spills

Exon Valdez - The effects 16 years on

Sea Otters in the area where a massive oil disaster occured in 1989 are still being seriously effected.

The Exxon Valdez spilled 42 million litres of crued oil into the Prince William Sound, Alaska in March of that year. By September 1,000 dead otters where found in the spill area.
Now, recent and ongoing research has shown that animals born after the spill continue to be adversly affected. Mortality patterns show that animals are experiencing long term negative chronic effects from the spill with decreasing survival rates.
The otter population still remains about half of what it was before the disaster. This research carried out by the US Geological Survey's Alaska Biological Science Center, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, brings to light the long term environmental effects from oil spills

Tanker Erica Disaster

Years after an environmental coastal disaster 70km off the French Brittany coast at the end of 1999, oil slicks from the tanker Erica continued to pollute sea and local coastlines, destroying wildlife and environments in their wake.
The tanker, chartered by French oil giant Total Fina, spilled around half its 25,000-tonne cargo of oil when it broke up in stormy seas. The resulting pollution devastated 400 km (250 miles) of coastline and within weeks had killed or maimed 300,000 sea birds.

Prestige Tanker Spill

In November 2002 the tanker Prestige split in two and sank off the North West Coast of Spain. It contained 70,000 metric tons of oil and almost doubled the damage caused by the Exxon Valdez.
More than 300,000 seabirds where killed, some of these rare species such as the Balearic Sheerwater (Puffinus mauretannicus).
For months after, multiple oils slicks reached the coast of Spain and Southern France, and years later oil has continued to cause environmental havoc along the affected coasts. Even 4,000 Scottish seabirds died following the Prestige disaster. These are puffins who flew south to breed in areas off Spain where the oils slicks continued to spread along the northern coastline.

With the research collected from the Alaskan disaster a long term forecast of the environmental effects of the French / Spanish coast spills may be easier to determine.

Looking-Glass say: International regulations to raise standards in oil tanker build structures and their operations has been long overlooked.

Click here to vote on an international ban on single skin - single hull oil tankers

Further Infomation: http://www.oilspill.state.ak.us

Alaskan Oil Fields (may 2002 news article)

Bush continues to forge ahead with environmental devastation even in the face of world public criticism.

And recently, an error made by the American Democrats may result in enough votes to produce a final energy bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling

Oil spills on Alaska's North Slope have raised environmental questions whilst the Bush administration continues to push to open a 2,000-acre portion of the Refuge to oil drilling. Recently a 420-gallon oil spill from a pipeline in Prudhoe Bay - a field that sprawls over roughly 400 square miles of tundra - have drawn concern that even routine oil operations in the ANWR would cause lasting environmental damage.
The refuge, roughly the size of Ireland, is considered one of the world's most pristine ecosystems - home to caribou and muskoxen and 34 other land mammals, 160 species of bird, and 9 different species of whale.

For more "Environment News " articles please go to the LGVN front page and choose from there.

For discussion on these issues see GGL's at VeggieGlobal.com


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