25 years later, Exxon Valdez spill effects linger 25 years later, Exxon Valdez spill effects linger This photo taken Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Valdez, Alaska, shows a sea otter in the bay near the ferry dock. The U.S. Geological Survey report released Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, concludes sea otters in Alaska's Prince William Sound have recovered to levels seen before the Exxon Valdez oil spill nearly 25 years ago. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen) DAN JOLING| Associated Press March 21, 2014 Comments ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, there was the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. The tanker struck a reef on March 24, 1989, and unleashed an estimated 10.8 million gallons of crude oil into the water. Currents then smeared it over 1,300 miles of shoreline. For a generation of people around the world, the spill was seared into their memories by images of fouled coastline in Prince William Sound, of sea otters, herring and birds soaked in oil, of workers painstakingly washing crude off the rugged beaches. Scientist Robert Spies says that today, 25 years later, most of the species have recovered. Spies was the chief science adviser on the oil spill restoration program from 1989 to 2002. But some wildlife, as well as the people who live in the region, are still struggling.