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Oil Spill Facts

Economic Impacts of the Spill

In the years immediately following the oil spill, the governments funded several studies to evaluate the economic effects of the spill. The five studies funded by the State of Alaska are:

  1. A Preliminary Economic Analysis of Recreational Fishing Losses Related to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (December 1992)
  2. Alaska Sportfishing in the Aftermath of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (December 1992)
  3. An Assessment of the Impact of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on the Alaska Tourism Industry (August 1990)
  4. Replacement Costs of Birds and Mammals (December 1992)
  5. A Contingent Valuation Study of Lost Passive Use Values Resulting from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (November 1992)

The studies of sportfishing activity and tourism indicators (vacation planning, visitor spending, and canceled bookings) all indicated decreases in recreation/tourism activity. The contingent valuation study estimated the lost passive use value at $2.8 billion. The replacement cost study identified a per-unit replacement cost of various seabirds and mammals, as well as eagles.