• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of January 22, 1999

This week, facts about... a massive 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara, California.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Thirty years ago an oil well blew up off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Black crude owned by Union Oil spewed for a week, and before it was plugged 3 million gallons escaped. The resulting oil slick covered 800 square miles of ocean and beaches and killed thousands of marine animals, mostly seals and birds. Images of the disaster were broadcast into millions of homes and served as a catalyst for eco-activism. The calamity helped spur passage of landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act. The incident also sparked the formation of a group called Get Oil Out, otherwise known as GOO. The Santa Barbara spill was the largest in California history, until last year when another spill by the same company, now called Unocal, dumped more than 8 and a half million gallons of oil on beaches near Guadalupe. The US record still belongs to Exxon. Eleven million gallons of oil from the Exxon Valdez flowed into Alaska's Prince William Sound 10 years ago. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.