In the early morning of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef. I was just 24 years old, flying from Anchorage to my hometown of Cordova to prepare the boat I was working on for spring herring fishery. The aerial view of the massive, grounded ship is one I will never forget. The aftershocks of the incident reverberated through my family, our community, and the Alaska Native people for many years.

Chugach Alaska Corporation (Chugach) shareholders and descendants, and the Prince William Sound (PWS) village corporations were among those most impacted. As a proactive measure to prevent future oil spills, Chugach and two of our region’s village corporations— Tatitlek Corporation and Chenega Corporation—came together to form TCC.

For the last 30 years, through contracts with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (Alyeska), TCC has provided a large portion of the Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS) manpower and expertise. TCC involvement in PWS oil spill response and prevention is a natural fit, with the majority of TCC workers having been raised in the region, on the water and connected, in one form or another, to Alaska’s marine environment.

In addition to being a Chugach shareholder, I have had the honor of being a part of TCC operations in various capacities more than 15 years, which gave me first-hand perspective on a mission that is near to my heart. PWS has been home to the Chugach people for more than 5,000 years, and, with the proper care and protection from TCC and other contractors, will continue to be a home for future generations.

The SERVS contract negotiated with TCC following the oil spill planted the first seed of a promising partnership between Alyeska and Chugach – one that has flourished in the 30 years since. Chugach and TCC have earned numerous commendations for their work with Alyeska, including the most recent 2020 Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence and Alyeska’s prestigious Contractor of the Year (Atigun) award in 2020.

I am thankful to Chugach, Tatitlek and Chenega for their contributions to TCC, and to Alyeska and all the regulatory agencies for their commitment to the safe transit of oil through PWS.

We look forward to protecting and serving the PWS for another 30 years and beyond.

Learn more about TCC and how to join the TCC Team at

For media inquiries, contact Communications
Director Randi Jo Gause

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