It’s been 25 years since millions of gallons of oil poured into Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in the waters of Alaska.
As CNN reports, the disaster may be 25 years old, but the damage is far from over – indeed, the effects of the spill are not ever expected to end.
The sound’s coastal ecosystem is permanently damaged. Thousands of gallons of Exxon Valdez oil still pollute the beaches; this oil is still toxic and still hurting the ecosystem near the shore.
The government considers, as of 2010, only 13 of the 32 monitored wildlife populations, habitats and resource services that were injured in the spill as fully “recovered” or “very likely recovered.” Some are still listed today as “not recovering.” This includes a pod of orcas, which lost 15 of its 22 members after the spill, and has not produced a calf since. Given only one older female is left, scientists are certain that this unique pod of orcas will go extinct — it’s just a matter of time. The government conclusion is that “there appears to be no hope for recovery.”
NBC News takes a look back at the spill through news clips from the time of the disaster, considered to be one of the worst ecological disasters of all time.
Watch the clip below: