Alaska

Articles:

The barge Salvation, the KP-2 deck barge, and two tugs tied up at Samson’s dock. The Alaskan Salvor located inside the containment boom around the tug Powhatan. (Photo provided by Samson Tug & Barge; June 4, 2017)

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Oil Spill in Sitka, Alaska

NOAA is inviting the public to comment on a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for projects in Sitka, Alaska. 

The plan aims to compensate the public for the Tug Powhatan oil spill, where the tugboat sank from its dock in Starrigavan Bay resulting in damages to natural resources. 

Cleanup worker on beach with hands covered in oil. Image credit: Alaska Public Archives

Story Map: The Spills Behind the Oil Pollution Act

Thirty years ago on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred. It was America's largest oil spill at the time, and is largely credited with the passage of the Oil Pollution Act.

But it was not the only big spill of 1989. Between June 23 and 24, three different oil tankers accidentally poured their cargo into U.S. coastal waters.

Sarah Allen assesses injuries to natural resources from her post in Alaska.

Meet Toxicologist Sarah Allan from Alaska

This is an excerpt from a monthly series profiling scientists and technicians who provide exemplary contributions to the mission of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). This month's profile is on Assessment and Restoration Division toxicologist and Alaska Regional Resource Coordinator, Sarah Allan.

Case Pages:

Oil sheen, containment boom, and deflection boom in Starrigavan Bay on April 23, 2017. (Photo provided by the US Coast Guard)

Tug Powhatan

Oil Spill | Sitka, Alaska | April 19, 2017

What Happened?

On April 19, 2017 an out of service tugboat, the Tug Powhatan, owned by Samson Tug & Barge, sank for unknown reasons from its dock in Starrigavan Bay near Sitka, Alaska. After sinking, the tug slid downslope and came to rest approximately 320 yards offshore in 160-180 feet of water.

The vessel broke in two, releasing about 350,000 of petroleum fuel and marine diesel.

M/V Selendang Ayu

Oil Spill | Unalaska, Alaska | December 8, 2004

Response crews attempt to remove the remaining oil aboard the grounded tanker Exxon Valdez.

Exxon Valdez

On March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil. The ecologically sensitive location, season of the year, and large scale of this spill resulted in one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.