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Abstract

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Eleven million gallons of oil flowed into waters where salmon thrived and polluted rocky shores where bald eagles fed. The black slime fouled more than one thousand miles of coastline. Over ninety thousand birds, including at least one hundred bald eagles, and between one and twenty thousand sea otters were killed. A year later, losses to other species ranging from whales to deer were still being studied. Exxon's cleanup project suddenly became the mainstay of small fishing villages. The wild paradise of Alaska fell victim to an economy rapaciously consuming petroleum.

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