21 years ago today…

By Brian at March 24, 2010 08:01
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…the EXXON VALDEZ ran aground in Prince William Sound.  The reaction to the grounding and subsequent oil spill changed the way the United States and the world dealt with maritime safety.   The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was a direct result, as was state legislation and establishment of agencies charged with oil spill prevention in California, Washington, Alaska and other states.  These laws and subsequent regulations resulted in substantial improvements in maritime safety and arguably spurred the development of navigation technology, such as electronic navigational charts (ENC) and automatic identification systems (AIS), that are in greater and greater use today.  The development of these technologies may well have languished if not for the attention the incident focused on navigation safety.

Many of the projects we’ve worked on originated with the EXXON VALDEZ incident, and subsequent efforts to improve navigation safety.  These include improvements in vessel traffic services (VTS) technology, VTS operations and VTS regulations; implementation of vessel routing schemes to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; and expanding the use of AIS for navigation safety.

(Thanks to Denny Bryant for inspiring this post with his annual entry about it on his excellent blog)