Review by Laura Sanders
Just as Katrina was more than a hurricane, the Exxon Valdez disaster was more than an oil spill, writes marine biologist and “fisherma’am” Riki Ott. In this account, Ott traces the forces that led up to what she calls “The Big One,” and chronicles the tragic environmental, personal and legal fallout from the spill.
Just before midnight on March 23, 1989, the fully loaded tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska’s vibrant Prince William Sound, belching millions of gallons of crude into the water. Hours after the tanker crashed, Ott flew over deep blue water and pinkish white mountains on the way to witness the spill. “Juxtaposed against this beautiful calmness lies the stricken tanker, blood red and bleeding inky black,” Ott describes. “The strong vapors make our heads and stomachs reel.”
The unprecedented oil spill is viewed through the lens of Cordova, a small fishing community and Ott’s home, on the