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The impact of Oil spills on our eco-system Essay Example

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The impact of Oil spills on our eco-system

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According to a report by CBS (Chemical Safety Board), BP was aware of the significant safety issues, well before the explosion occurred but still implemented cost cuts of about 25 per cent during the years 1998 and 2000. This measure on the part of the management led to a significant negative impact on the maintenance and infrastructure expenditures at the refinery (Regester and Larkin, 2008).Also the design of the cement used to seal the bottom of the well was flawed and ought to have been repaired promptly to avoid the dangerous consequences. The management failed to analyze the problem with the seal, and incorrectly validated the test result by approving it, despite the apparent fault. The workers hired on site, failed to foresee the looming disaster, and alert the concerned management regarding the same, which resulted in the blowout (BBC, 2011).Any disaster of this magnitude and scale is likely to result in threatening consequences which reach beyond the routine issues faced by organizations in their day to day operations. The short term effects of the BP Oil spill are listed below:- Impact on the marine life: The oil spill underwater affects the marine environment causing damage to the aquatic life. The site of the oil spill is home to a wide variety of rich and diverse marine life including cold-water corals, fish, etc. Furthermore it is also reported that the endangered sperm whales frequent this water bed in search of giant squid and other prey. The oil spill destroyed the natural habitat of these species and affected their life cycles in the process. Since the marine species are highly interdependent, the food web is completely destroyed.The BP oil spill is touted to be the worst environmental disaster ever. The magnitude of the accident is far worse as compared to other natural disasters such as earth quakes or hurricanes since the damage continues to threaten the environment, years after the said event. The situation is akin to an epidemic where the damage caused continues to multiply in magnitude over the years. The marine life is among the hardest hit by the disaster. According to research, the immediate after effects of the Oil spill which includes the deaths of marine species severely disrupted the food web. The wetlands which were contaminated due to the spill have adversely affected the spawning grounds for the Loggerhead turtles, thus threatening the existence and survival of the species.

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Read, C., (2011). BP and the Macondo Spill: The complete story. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, pp. 176-178

Regetster, M., Larkin, J., (2008). Risk issues and crisis management in public relations: A casebook of best practice. Kogan Page Publishers, pp. 85-86

BBC (2012). Mapped: eco impact of the BP oil spill [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special_reports/oil_disaster/ [Accessed: April 25, 2012]

BBC (2011). US Oil spill: Bad management led to BP disaster [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12124830 [Accessed: April 25, 2012]

BBC News (2011). BP Oil spill: The environmental impact one year on [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13123036 [Accessed: April 25, 2012

BBC (2010). Gulf oil leak: Biggest ever, but how bad? [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10851837 [Accessed: April 25, 2012]

Oil Spill Commission (2011). National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling [Online] Available at: http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FinalReportPartII.pdf [Accessed: April 24, 2012]

The Guardian (2010). Deepwater horizon clean-up workers fight to prevent disaster [Online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/23/deepwater-horizon-oil-rig-gulf [Accessed: April 25, 2012]

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