The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated minimum 30.8 million US gallons (120.9 million liters, or 750,000 barrels) of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters ever to occur in history...
In 1992, Exxon released a video titled Scientists and the Alaska Oil Spill. It was provided to schools with the label "A Video for Students".
 Thousands of animals died immediately; the best estimates include 100,000 to as many as 250,000 seabirds, at least 2,800 sea otters, approximately 12 river otters, 300 harbor seals, 247 bald eagles, and 22 orcas, as well as the destruction of billions of salmon and herring eggs. The effects of the spill continued to be felt for many years afterwards. Overall reductions in population have been seen in various ocean animals, including stunted growth in pink salmon populations. Sea otters and ducks also showed higher death rates in following years, partially because they ingested prey from contaminated soil and from ingestion of oil residues on hair due to grooming.
Almost 20 years after the spill, a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina found that the effects are lasting far longer than expected. The team estimates some shoreline Arctic habitats may take up to 30 years to recover. Exxon Mobil denies any concerns over this, stating that they anticipated a remaining fraction that they assert will not cause any long-term ecological impacts, according to the conclusions of 350 peer-reviewed studies. However, a study from scientists from the NOAA concluded that this contamination can produce chronic low-level exposure, discourage subsistence where the contamination is heavy, and decrease the "wilderness character" of the area.
The issue of recovery is still contentious. Clean-up efforts officially ended in 1992, but one recent study has shown an estimated 20,000 gallons of oil remaining on the beaches of Prince William Sound.
According to Anne, one can even smell it in some areas. "The oil tends to hide itself especially on these beaches where, you know, we have these huge cobbled rocks.
"It'll go into this and come up to the top. And then the storms will uncover it. And then a hot day comes along, and puff, there it is again.
"It's still there."
And this is a small fraction of the spill in the Gulf.