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Posts Tagged ‘Riki Ott’

March 2, 2009

Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez spill

In the early hours of March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil supertanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It discharges millions of gallons of crude oil. In its wake, some biologists believe it killed 300,000 birds.

If you need any reminder of how powerfully tragic the spill was in Alaska, please watch this powerful trailer for the documentary “Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez

The documentary follows the saga of what happened in the years following the spill. In 1993 both the salmon and the herring runs collapsed. Some species, like the herring, have failed to recover, creating a permanent economic crisis for the Sound’s fishermen. As the bankruptcies began, a wave of social problems followed – alcoholism, high divorce rates and even suicides have swept through the Sound’s small towns.

For twenty years, Riki Ott, author of Not One Drop, and the fishermen of the little town of Cordova, Alaska waged the longest legal battle in U.S. history against the world’s most powerful oil company – ExxonMobil. The Supreme Court reduced the original award last year, but the spill’s legacy lives on.

The video has been shown on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and at various film festivals. We haven’t seen this aired yet in the U.S. (Correct us if we’re wrong)

The full size video trailer can be seen here

IBRRC’s overview on the spill response and court case

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.