Alaska's Billion-Dollar Quandary

A battle is raging over how best to spend the settlement money from the Exxon Valdez disaster

To a casual visitor, the chill, choppy waters of Prince William Sound show little evidence of the disaster that struck on Good Friday 1989. Nearly 11 million gal. of crude oil poured from a gash in the grounded tanker Exxon Valdez that day, forming a slick that eventually reached into the Gulf of Alaska and nearly to the Shumagin Islands, about 965 km (600 miles) away. More than 1,930 km (1,200 miles) of coastline was fouled; commercial and subsistence fishing were halted; populations of bald eagles, seabirds, otters and other animals plummeted; and at least 35 archaeological sites were sullied. Now,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!