IMAGES OF DISASTER

30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting

An oil-covered bird is examined on an island in Prince William Sound, Alaska in April 1989.
An oil-covered bird is examined on an island in Prince William Sound, Alaska in April 1989.
Image: AP Photo/Jack Smith
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On March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

It was the worst oil spill in US history until 2010, when Deepwater Horizon disaster pumped nearly 20 times that into the Gulf of Mexico.

Thirty years later, the pictures of the aftermath and cleanup efforts in Alaska remain iconic images for environmental activists, starkly depicting the blunt force of industry running headfirst into a delicately balanced natural setting.

Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting
Image for article titled 30 years later, photos from the Exxon Valdez spill remain haunting