Hopper Dredges Applied to the Alaska Oil Spill, March 1989,
ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT PORTLAND OR
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On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. This accident resulted in the largest American oil spill ever and spoiled one of the most pristine areas in North America. In April 1989, the US Army Corps of Engineers was requested to assist in the cleanup of this disastrous oil spill. Two of the Corps minimum fleet hopper dredges, the Yaquina and the Essayons, were dispatched to assist in collecting oil. Although unmodified hopper dredges had never been used in this capacity, the Yaquina and the Essayons proved to be the most effective tools in the recovery of oil. Given proper air support, adequate containment boom, and commitment at the earliest possible time, hopper dredges can make a significant contribution to the cleanup of large oil spills.
- Water Pollution and Control