Fifteen years after the Exxon Valdez devastated the Alaskan coast, another oil spill is making headlines. Greenpeace is on the scene.
Greenpeace activist Melanie Duchin at the site of the spill. The best prevention against future oil spills is a future without oil.
A Malaysian freighter lost power to its main engine on December
7, 2004 and ran aground on the west-side of Unalaska Island in the
Aleutian Island chain. The ship was carrying 483,000 US gallons
(1.8 million litres) of heavy bulk fuel and another 21,000 of
Adding to the tragedy, six crew members from the ship were lost
during a rescue attempt when the helicopter trying to retrieve them
The spilled oil threatens a nearby wildlife refuge -- home to
such species as sea otters, harbour seals, halibut and tanner
crabs. Though this oil spill is small compared to Exxon
Valdez, the type of oil is difficult to break up and the
accident's proximity to a wildlife refuge makes it particularly
Greenpeace is on the scene, meeting with residents and the local
fishing community and offering wildlife and oil spill experience
when needed. The job of documenting the spill has been made
extremely hard by the remoteness of this site, out of range of most
We believe the focus of this disaster should not solely be on
oil spill response, but more importantly on preventing such
accidents before they happen.
Alaska's arctic ecosystem is doubly threatened by oil spills and
global warming. The solution is the same: a future free of fossil
fuels, built on safe, renewable energy sources. The Earth can no
longer afford our addiction to oil.
See exclusive images
slideshow of the disaster.