Considered the “Last Frontier” of the United States, Alaska is very wild and generally unspoiled. Home to animals such as caribou, the grizzly bear, and moose, Alaska is proud of its natural resources which are not limited to animals. It is no secret that Alaska is being pumped for oil- the Alaskan oil pipline was built in the 1960’s and 70’s and is still being used today. As a result of the oil resources in Alaska, many cities have been producting more pollutants. Alaska also has a large tourist industry which some argue produces large amounts of pollution in tourist mecca cities like Seward and Denali.
Although not a large city, Prudhoe Bay on the North Alaskan shore was the source of a large oil spill in 2006. 267,000 gallons of oil were spilled over 1.9 acres devistating the fragile environment around both land and water.
Tourist areas/cities all over Alaska also produce a lot of pollution. The pollution may not be as direct as an oil spill for example, but the tourist industry in general is quite damaging to Alaska. In cities such as Denali, located one mile from the entrance to Denali National Park, tourists descend upon the area during the summer months only. Hotels that were closed all winter open up and begin using a number of resources that may pollute the environment, such as cars, busses, propane, and use up valuable water resources.
Thanks so much for your answer!
I’ve heard that Alaska has some of the highest cancer rates in the United States. I wonder if it is related to this pollution?
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