Lingering Oil Overview

Oil from the Exxon Valdez persists in a shallow pit dug on a beach in Prince William Sound, summer 2004. Animals that feed on benthic shellfish and other invertebrates, such as sea otters and Harlequin ducks, showed persistent weakened immunity and reduced reproductivity associated with high levels of poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from lingering oil.

The Lingering Oil component encompasses two projects focused on collecting and maintaining information regarding locations and concentrations of Exxon Valdez spilled oil and movement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through the Prince William Sound ecosystem.  These projects have long-term data sets that contain information dating back to 1990.

Why are we monitoring?

These data, when combined with data from the Environmental Drivers and Nearshore and Pelagic Ecosystems components, are key for addressing questions related to large-scale climate conditions, residual spilled oil, and long-term impacts to ecosystem services.