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HAMC: Contaminants and Oil

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Habitat Assessment & Marine Chemistry
Contaminants and Oil:
Lingering Exxon Valdez Oil
Differing Perspectives
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A deposit of Exxon Valdez oil that has washed up on shore
Exxon Valdez oil in Prince William Sound.
 

In partnership with local citizens’ groups and local, state, and other federal agencies, the Habitat Assessment and Marine Chemistry Program provides research results for rationally minimizing habitat loss caused by oil development and other pollution-generating activities by quantifying contaminant threats to reproductive, nursery, and feeding habitats for various life stages of federally managed fish species.

Results have been instrumental in shaping legislation (MARPOL Annex V, regulation of bottom paints, and Tongass Timber Reform Act) as well as litigation related to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Research on the role of hydrocarbons has altered our understanding of the role of these persistent and toxic chemicals on fish reproduction, resulting in increasingly stringent water quality standards both regionally and nationally.

Habitat Assessment researchers have been involved since day one in evaluating the impacts of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS). The Exxon Valdez spill took place on March 24, 1989 when the tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska. Primary research themes focus on the long-term persistence of oil and the effects of oil on species not yet recovered from the EVOS. Our staff is also responsible for maintaining the EVOS hydrocarbon database, which contains all of the Trustee's hydrocarbon data since 1989 for all agency projects.


Key Publications to this Research

Heintz, Ron, Margaret M. Krahn, Gina M. Ylitalo, and Frank Morado. 2006. Organochlorines in walleye pollock from the Bering Sea and southeastern Alaska. Pp. 561-580 in: A.W. Trites, S.K. Atkinson, D.P. DeMaster, L.W. Fritz, T.S. Gelatt, L.D. Rea, and K.M. Wynne (eds.). Sea Lions of the World.  Alaska Sea Grant College Program Publication AK-SG-06-01, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Peterson, C. H., S. D. Rice, J. W. Short, D. Esler, J. L. Bodkin, B. E. Ballachey, and D. B. Irons.  2003.  Long‑term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Science 302: 2082‑2086.

Rice, Stanley D., Jeffrey W. Short, Mark G. Carls, Adam Moles, and Robert B. Spies. 2007. The Exxon Valdez oil spill. Pp. 413-514  in: R.B. Spies, T. Cooney, A.M. Springer, T. Weingartner, and G. Kruse (eds.), Long-term Ecological Change in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Elsevier Publications, Amsterdam.


Related Links:
EVOS Trustee Council
NMFS Office of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damage Assessment and Restoration
NOAA Office of Response and Restoration
Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council
Cook Inlet Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council


Contact:
Jeep Rice
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
Jeep.Rice@noaa.gov


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