The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Habitat Protection as a Restoration Strategy
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 44–55, March 1997
How to Cite
Weiner, A., Berg, C., Gerlach, T., Grunblatt, J., Holbrook, K. and Kuwada, M. (1997), The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Habitat Protection as a Restoration Strategy. Restoration Ecology, 5: 44–55. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-100X.1997.09705.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Habitat protection is a major component of the Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration process. The acquisition of private lands, or partial interests in private lands, is intended to promote natural recovery of spill-injured resources and services by removing the threat of additional development impacts. The Comprehensive Habitat Protection Process is the method that was designed to achieve this objective. Over one million acres within the oil spill affected area were evaluated, scored, and ranked by a multi-criteria evaluation process. Initially, lands were divided into large parcels encompassing entire bays and watersheds. Criteria were then used to assess the habitat and human-use values associated with each parcel and the protection benefit that acquisition would provide for 19 injured resources and services. This process has been the basis for the acquisition of 41,549 acres of land on Afognak Island and 23,800 acres on the Kenai Peninsula and for agreements that, if consummated, will result in the acquisition of fee or lesser rights on over a half million acres of land in the Kodiak Archipelago, on the Kenai Peninsula, and in Prince William Sound. All of these lands or rights, if acquired, will be incorporated into parks or refuges or otherwise managed in a manner that will facilitate the recovery of the resources and services injured by the oil spill.