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Valdez(văldēz`), city (1990 pop. 4,068), Valdez-Chitina-Whittier census div., S Alaska, at the head of Valdez Arm inside Prince William SoundPrince William Sound,
large, irregular, islanded inlet of the Gulf of Alaska, S Alaska, E of the Kenai peninsula. It has many bays and good harbors; the large Columbia Glacier flows into Columbia Bay, in the N central portion.
..... Click the link for more information. ; inc. 1901. It has tourist and fishing industries, as well as salmon spawning grounds. The city's excellent, nearly landlocked ice-free harbor was explored and named by the Spaniards in 1790. Valdez was established (1898) as a debarkation point for those seeking a route to the Yukon gold fields that would obviate the necessity of paying duty to Canada. Following a devastating earthquake and tidal wave in 1964, the city was rebuilt at a location 5 mi (8 km) west of the old site. Valdez is the southern terminus of the trans-Alaskan oil pipeline, built in the 1970s, that originates in Prudhoe BayPrudhoe Bay,
inlet of the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean, N Alaska, in the Alaska North Slope region, east of the Colville River delta. In 1968 one of the largest oil reserves in North America was discovered in Prudhoe Bay.
..... Click the link for more information. . Its port facilities were greatly enlarged in the mid-1970s. On Mar. 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef near Valdez and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound. Clean-up efforts ensued, but much wildlife was killed or endangered as a result of the environmental disaster.