Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC... gather sound. They didn't need video, or pictures, just sound.
The BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska - but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the Mudflats crew were on a boat making our way out to Knight Island for the sole purpose of capturing what it sounded like at that moment on what locals often called 'Diesel Beach.'
For me, it was mainly a journalistic endeavor. I had distinct memories of the spill - I followed it day by day, as much as I could from the national news but I had no idea what the Sound was like before. Shannyn knew, she had been there before, during and long after cleaning up what Exxon left behind. The promises from Exxon to do "whatever it takes to keep you whole" left many Alaskans feeling empty.