Artifacts from the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Ray Troll EVOS T-shirt

Many years ago, 23 of them to be exact, Exxon Shipping gave an oil spill in Prince William Sound that dumped 11 million gallons of North Slope crude oil into and onto Prince William Sound and its inhabitants.

It just happened that I was living in Valdez, Alaska at the time, teaching photography and video at Prince William Sound Community College. From the moment I woke at 6 AM to hear the announcer on KCHU say, “The Exxon Valdez is on the rocks and leaking oil,” my life changed forever.

William Spear pin

That was a long time ago. Much has changed. Much is the same. There could be another, even more devastating oil spill in Prince William Sound at any time, and there’s nothing anyone can do to forestall it, as long as crude oil is shipped in fragile vessels through these delicate waters.

My ADEC ID badge

I worked eighteen hours a day, seven days a week, from March 24 to September 25, 1989, documenting the effects of the oil spill on the animals, people and environment of Prince William Sound. I continued this work until the fall of 1991, completing a video documentary of the spill that was distributed world-wide by the United Nations.

You can read more accounts of the spill in my books, Écritage and The Environmeddlers.


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