A Look Back at Exxon Valdez 1989 Oil Spill Response

Eagle washed of oil during Exxon Valdez spill response in 1989. Photo: International Bird Rescue

This week is the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez tragedy. From our archives: we spoke with three of our emergency responders who were on the ground rescuing seabirds and otters in 1989.

More than 1,600 live oiled birds were captured and brought to Bird Rescue’s four oiled bird rehabilitation centers in Alaska during the six months that they were in operation.

The above video/audio recollections is a really touching look at what an oiled wildlife responder does, and how this spill forever changed the nature of our work in the field.

Special thanks to Exxon Valdez emergency responders Jay Holcomb, Curt Clumpner and Mimi Wood Harris.


Listen: In 2009 Jay Holcomb remembers leading Bird Rescue’s Exxon Valdez spill response (24 minutes, MP3)

Read: Overview of the search and rescue, response efforts during the Exxon Valdez: By Jay Holcomb (PDF)