Bligh Island lies south of Valdez and just west of Tatitlek in Prince William Sound.
Bligh Reef has been the scene of three shipwrecks. Most notable is the Exxon Valdez in 1989. The other two were the Pathfinder on Dec 24, 2009, and the Alaska Steamship Company's Olympia in 1910.
The reef was named after William Bligh, of future HMS Bounty fame, who served as Master aboard ship during James Cook's third world voyage. Originally called "Bligh Island Reef;" in 1930 the name was shortened to "Bligh Reef" by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS).