News & AnalysisEnvironment

25 Years After the Exxon Valdez, Where Are the Herring?

Science  28 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6178, pp. 1416
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6178.1416

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Summary

The 24 March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill—at the time, the largest in U.S. waters—killed an estimated 250,000 seabirds, billions of fish eggs, and many whales and seals in Alaska's Prince William Sound. A $900 million civil settlement has helped fund decades of research into the spill's aftermath. Today, many species have recovered, researcher W. Scott Pegau reports in a Q&A with Science. But at least one important fish—herring—hasn't bounced back. Meanwhile, researchers have launched plans to continue monitoring through 2032, with the aim of creating a detailed long-term record of the ecosystem.