Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tour of Prince William Sound Twenty-three Years Ago

This newspaper column in the now defunct Anchorage Times, written by the great Alaska nature writer Bill Sherwonitdescribes a tour of Prince William Sound, Alaska, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster March 24, 1989. Bill Sherwonit accompanied the Sierra Club's Alaska field representative Jack Hession, Anchorage wildlife photographer Myron Rosenberg, and myself, on Anchorage fisherman Rusty Hood's fishing boat, as we tried to make sense of the unfolding environmental disaster to figure out a way for conservationists in Alaska and elsewhere to respond. This column is as fresh, interesting, and relevant today as it was twenty-three years ago. I went along for the ride, because at the time I was the volunteer chairman of the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club. Within hours of the oil spill, the phones in the Sierra Club's offices in Anchorage literally melted down from the volume of calls, with people from around the world calling to volunteer to help with the oil spill response.

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