Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef, sixty-two men and women share personal stories of what they saw, how they reacted, and how they coped with North America’s worst tanker o
Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef, sixty-two men and women share personal stories of what they saw, how they reacted, and how they coped with North America’s worst tanker oil spill. Their anger and anguish had receded from view like oil seeping into rocky crevices on the beaches of Prince William Sound, but the terrible memories were never far from the surface. The stories tell of a shockingly slow response, the struggle to save the stricken tanker, the often heroic but largely futile efforts to limit the spread of oil and clean the beaches, a heart-breaking loss of fish and wildlife, a crippling blow to the commercial fishing industry, a public relations fiasco, a lingering human toll, and a loss of innocence among Alaskans who believed this spill would never happen. Reliving their experiences are fishermen, Native villagers, biologists, environmentalists, sociologists, Exxon executives, the governor, mayors, journalists, workers who washed oily rocks—even the skipper of the ill-fated ship.
View Biographical note
Stan Jones is director of external affairs for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council. Earlier in his career, he was a radio and newspaper journalist, winning the Alaska Press Club Public Service Award, the George Polk Award and, twice, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting on the Exxon Valdez spill for the Anchorage Daily News helped the paper win several national awards for its coverage of the disaster. He is the author of the Nathan Active mystery series, including White Sky, Black Ice; Shaman Pass; Frozen Sun; and Village of the Ghost Bears. He is also a contributor to a new Alaska state history book, Alaska Politics and Public Policy, to be published by the University of Alaska Press in 2009. He lives in Anchorage with his wife, Susan Jones.
Sharon Bushell is the author of the two-volume oral history, "We Alaskans - Stories of People Who Helped Build the Great Land," as well as the Bernie Jones children's book series. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award, the Alaska Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities, and the James Patterson Page-Turner Award. She lives in Homer, Alaska, with her husband John Bushell.