Exxon Valdez Oil Still Harmful, U.S. Studies Say

Residue form 1989 spill still harming wildlife.

Published: 15-Jan-2003

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Small oil patches left from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill are still releasing toxins that harm sea life, government scientists said on Tuesday.

Studies by the National Marine Fisheries Service found toxins continuing to flow from lingering crude oil lodged in beaches long after the Exxon supertanker disgorged 11 million gallons of its cargo, causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. waters.

And sea otters and harlequin ducks in waters near the oil patches still struggled, as recently as last summer, with high death rates and poor reproduction, said studies coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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