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Ministry of Education.

Annotated exemplar 1

“Explain why the Exxon Valdez oil spill was an issue, the causes of the issue and ways in which this issue could have been solved.”
In this essay I will be talking about my topic, the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I will state why this was an issue, what the causes of this issue were, and ways this particular issue might have solved.  
The Exxon Valdez oil spill was a major issue, mainly because of its great effect on the environment. 44 million litres of crude oil poured out into the ocean, starting in Bligh reef over the next few days after the incident. A 1200km stretch of Alaska’s coastline was quickly covered in oil. The oil spill also had a deadly effect on the local wildlife, killing over 1,000 sea otters, thousands of ducks, millions of fish, crabs and more than 300,000 sea birds. The spill also threatened the food chains in Prince William Sound’s fishing Industry.
The oil spill was mostly an accident, the super tanker Exxon Valdez veered off course from the normal shipping lanes to avoid what was thought to be ice. The vessel then unfortunately ran aground on unseen jagged rocks in Bligh reef, Prince William Sound, which is located in Alaska, U.S. Ten holes were pierced in the super tanker’s hull. Crude oil began leaking immediately. Although the cause of the oil spill was accidental, it was the most serious oil spill so far in American history.
The oil spill could have been handled well and the clean up could have been swift and successful, unfortunately it was not, 12 hours after the incident there were still no emergency services at the scene. After the spill occurred there was debate about who was to deal with the cleaning of the spill. While the Exxon Company took direct responsibility immediately, the U.S Coast Guard also had responsibilities regarding the spill because of where the spill was located. When the clean up process finally began, it was slow to say the least. 72 hours after the spill occurred, only a small 1% of the spilled oil had been recovered. Local oil workers were not very well prepared, and had trouble containing the spill with booms and skimmers. The company Exxon employed many (around 11,000) Alaskan people to help clean the oil from their beaches. The clean up was slow and ineffective for many reasons, and the spill had covered so much of the Alaskan coastline that the clean up took a long time. In 1992 the U.S Coastguard declared that the clean up was complete. Using high pressure water hoses and vacuum pumps, the oil had finally been cleaned up, to the U.S Coastguard’s standards. Exxon had taken immediate responsibility of the spill and spent over 4.3 billion dollars as a result of this tragic accident.
In conclusion, the Exxon Valdez oil spill had a devastating effect on the environment. The clean up was slow and ineffective, and the company Exxon spent billions of dollars trying to fix their terrible mistake.

Published on: 13 Jul 2011