Mya Howard, Cordova, Alaska, Born 1987

I remember in school and stuff we’d always have like Sea Week and learn about the sea animals and stuff and we went down to the beach one time and there was a sea otter there and it was just covered in oil from it.  I was in kindergarten.  I just remember it was on the beach and our teacher took us down there and showed it to us because we were just walking around looking at like --- just looking at all the things, learning about seaweed and little songs and just stuff like that.  And then one of the kids saw it on the beach and we all ran over to it and it was, I don’t know if it was hurt, but it couldn’t really move because it was just covered in oil and stuff.  I don’t really remember it super well, but – that kind of made an impact on me a little, because I saw how much it hurt the animal.  I felt really sad for it.  Then it talked to my mom about it later and she explained about the oil spill and kind of everything that happened and how it hurt all of the animals and the fish especially and so it made me feel sad for the little animal.

  

I just remember everybody always talked about Exxon and it seemed like everybody was always waiting for Exxon to pay up because everybody had been so hurt by the loss of income and everything.  Just growing up in, that was just the constant thing: well, when Exxon pays up, then things will be better, but then eventually they did but the fishing never improved.   So that’s just kind of something that stuck with me from it.  Tragedies, things happen and you can wait and wait for things and even when they did pay up, it didn’t really solve any problem.   You just kind of have to make your own luck, you can’t wait for someone else to help with it.

Mya's Full Interview