Economic, Social, and Psychological Impact Assessment of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

The grounding of the supertanker Exxon Valdez in 1989 led to the spillage of some 11 million gallons of viscous crude oil along hundreds of miles of coastline in Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska. This research was funded by the State of Alaska for the “Oiled” Mayors Subcommittee of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. The research was the largest and most comprehensive assessment of first year effects of the event. Research was conducted between November 1989 and September 1990 and involved detailed analysis of individual and collective impacts among 1,300 businesses and 600 households across 22 Alaska communities. The research addresses fiscal impacts to local government jurisdictions; public and private sector business impacts; and social and psychological impacts to community members. Four reports were delivered to the funder; three interim and one final summary report. Research findings were also delivered in numerous articles, book chapters, and presentations.