For today’s Newsweek Rewind, we feature the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which occurred twenty-five years ago, on March 24, 1989. One of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, Exxon Valdez released over 10.8 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, contaminating 1,300 miles of the coastline and killing thousands of birds, eagles, otters, and other native animals. Despite over a billion dollars being spent on cleanup, the region still hasn’t fully recovered, even a quarter of a century later.
The spill was covered extensively in Newsweek’s September 18, 1989 issue, with reporting by Harry Hurt III, Lynda Wright, Pamela Abramson in articles by Jerry Adler and Sharon Begley. The feature What Exxon Leaves Behind paints a grim picture. “Nearly six months after one of its giant tankers spilled millions of gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, Exxon is preparing to end its cleanup operation. It has been a colossal and humbling effort: Exxon has found that what man has defaced not even the world’s largest oil company can repair.”
Read more: Newsweek Rewind: Remembering the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on Its 25th Anniversary