Environmental Button

On March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, off the coast of Alaska. Almost 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the sea, the largest oil spill in United States history. The resulting oil slick contaminated 1,300 miles of coastline and killed over 200,000 sea birds and sea mammals such as otters, seals, and killer whales. The clean-up cost over 2.2 billion dollars.
Environmental disasters are often used to galvanize public support for reform; the Exxon Valdez accident is a perfect example. This button was produced to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the event.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: .33 cm x 5.5 cm; x 1/8 in x 2 3/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Artifact Walls exhibit
Clothing & Accessories
Natural Resources
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object