Tutor profile: Annie W.
Write an Op-Ed for a local newspaper.
As I was driving over the Bay Bridge last week, I noticed a cruise ship docked in the San Francisco harbor, next to the towering skyline of the Financial District. From such a perspective, the ship was the same size as one of the larger skyscrapers. These massive ships are essentially small floating cities--and they pollute like ones too. The average cruise ship produces 25,000 gallons of sewage, 7 tons of garbage, 15 gallons of toxic chemicals and 7,000 gallons of oily bilge water, daily. In 2002, Crystal Cruises, anchored right off the coastline of Big Sur, dumped 36,400 gallons of human sewage, grey water and oil into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in clear violation of local city agreements. Rather than reporting the damage, Crystal Cruises hid the information for months in a clear cover up attempt. After a 15-year ban, Crystal Cruises returned to Monterey in 2018 and this year, 17 cruise ships, including one from Crystal Cruises, is scheduled to stop in Monterey. Meanwhile, Princess Cruise Lines, who have six scheduled docks in Monterey this year, pled guilty to seven felony charges after purposefully dumping oily waste into oceans and lying to cover up their actions just two years ago. It baffles me that not only was Crystal Cruises allowed to return to Monterey Bay, but that cruise ships are allowed in or near protected marine sanctuaries at all. Cruise ships seriously threaten these crucial environments through their reckless disregard and contempt for environmental regulations Cruise ships can also plow into whales, create tremendous levels of underwater noise harmful to marine wildlife, incinerate garbage by the metric tons (causing hazardous air quality conditions), and pump out massive amounts of greenhouse emissions because they keep their engines on and running for the entire duration of their stay. Findings in a 2017 study reported that a mid-sized cruise ship will use up to 150 tons of fuel each day, which emits as much as one million cars. Allowing cruise ships in marine sanctuaries is like building a freight train straight through Yosemite. Harbormaster John Haynes argues that cruises are safe because they must sign certain environmental considerations. However, one of the largest issues according to the San Francisco Chronicle is that “no single governing body oversees the global cruise industry or monitors and enforces regulations.” Essentially, we are putting cruise companies that repeatedly violate and lie about their destructive practices on an honor system. Haynes also argues that cruise passengers brought in $156,856 in “head taxes,” and spend on average of $134 at local businesses, or $1.4 million annually. While this might seem like a large number, the economic value of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary far outweighs that number (how do we even put a price on healthy living conditions and thriving marine life?). According to NOAA, the Monterey Bay Sanctuary directly supports a $43 million fishing industry, critical marine science facilities with a $200 million budget, and educational institutions that inspire ocean conservation such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which hosts 2 million annual visitors and brings in $71 million in direct revenue. Finally, travel and tourism focused around coasts and ocean, provide a whopping $7 billion. Why do we keep causing long-term destruction to our environment for the sake of short-term economic gain, or even the mirage of economic gain? Why do we keep letting bad actors continue business-as usual after paying a fine and issuing a fake apology to placate public outrage? We know that cruises are unilaterally focused on increasing profits and not the environmental health of the communities they invade. Why wait till one of these cruises inevitably pollutes our waters and air, endangering our neighborhoods and wildlife? Reclaim the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary: tell harbormaster John Haynes and city councilmembers to protect the community’s oceans, air, and economy, and issue a permanent ban on cruise liners.
Subject: Human Geography
Why are diversity, inclusion and equity important?
In order to tackle the complex problems of an increasingly diverse world, we need a variety of perspectives and cultural understandings. Just as biodiversity strengthens ecosystems, diversity strengthens our societal bonds by promoting compassion and understanding. It allows us to question the barriers of marginalized communities, become aware of problematic practices, laws, and regulations, and change them to be more inclusive of different identities. In doing so, we can achieve a more equitable, sustainable and cohesive environment.
Subject: College Admissions
How can you demonstrate diversity or individuality in your personal statement?
First of all, be completely honest. Let these essays demonstrate real reflection and growth. Some great questions to start with: When did you first know what you wanted to do? Was there a deciding experience that sparked your passions? How did your interests evolve over time? What have been some challenges you have faced? How did you overcome these challenges? How did you grow? How has that shaped your college decisions? Why do you want to go to this particular school? Why would you be successful here? If money was not a factor, what would you choose to do with your life? When you think about your future career, what do you picture yourself doing? Is there something you advocate for?
needs and Annie will reply soon.