Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

December 3, 2007

Notes from survivor of Exxon Valdez spill

From Riki Ott’s commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The oil spill in San Francisco Bay also hit people in my hometown of Cordova, the native village of Chenega, Port Graham, Kodiak, Chignik – and all other of the 22 Alaskan communities directly affected by the Exxon Valdez spill more than 18 years ago.

The reason Exxon Valdez survivors literally “feel your pain” is that disaster trauma is stored in memory with no time tag other than “present.” No matter what else of significance happens in a person’s life, trauma memory is able to trump it all in an unguarded moment.

As an Exxon Valdez survivor, the intensity of emotion that flooded over me when I learned of the spill in San Francisco Bay was as real as when I first experienced it two decades ago…

Note: Riki Ott, Ph.D., is an marine toxicologist, activist and author of “Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.”

Read the entire commentary here

Also see the Anchorage Daily News: Legacy of a Spill It contains stories, photos and maps on the spill.

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