Jun 28, 2010

Twenty-one years after the Exxon Valdez

Former Pasadena Star-News reporter Cindy Chang traveled to the small fishing village of Cordova, Alaska for the Times-Picayune to survey the lasting damage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Residents there, whose lives and livelihoods were torn apart by the disaster and who can still find pools of oil inches below the surface of the ground, had some grim advice for the people living along the Gulf Coast:
Despite the pain of dredging up the past, most Cordovans are willing to share their stories with visitors. They volunteer advice to their Gulf Coast counterparts, with "Don't trust BP" the most common admonition.

"Don't believe anything the oil company says. They have huge PR departments whose job it is to minimize the collateral damage," said Mike Lytle, a Cordova fisherman. "I hope you have better luck than we did with the oil companies." ...
"A lot of lives are going to be affected. It'll never be the same. It'll take years and years to work through it," said Bruce Robertson, who has fished local waters for close to 30 years. "Nice families will be broken apart. Businesses will be lost. It's not going to be pretty."

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