Just after midnight on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez tanker crashed into the Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The resulting oil spill was the largest in the history of the United States, dumping an estimated 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the water.
In the video below, members of International Bird Rescue's emergency response team share their experiences of working at the spill:
Although some of the wildlife populations have now recovered, there is still lasting damage to the local environment and the economy. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the area's herring, killer whale and sea otter populations have still not returned to their pre-spill numbers.
NPR will also be taking a look at the long-term impacts of the spill this week. You can listen to the introduction to the series below.