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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,677
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

Over the past 250 years, humans have pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. While science and industry scramble to understand the full impact, oceans continue to absorb as much as a quarter — approximately 530 billion tons — of this excess gas.

Extra CO2 increases acidity, reducing the amount of calcium carbonate in the water. Shell fish and coral reef, which rely on this mineral to build their shells and skeletons, are especially vulnerable to this process. Many larger fish rely on tiny marine snails and coral for food and shelter, so the effects of ocean acidification reverberate up the food chain, further depleting already struggling fish stocks.

As part of a multi-faceted solution, petition the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to designate additional Marine Protected Areas — "national parks for the sea" — providing marine life with a refuge and a fighting chance against this emerging threat.

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Dear Director Ashe:

While governments and international organizations debate the political intricacies of carbon emissions, Earth's oceans continue to absorb massive quantities of carbon dioxide, resulting in increasingly acidic waters. This process, known as ocean acidification, threatens marine ecosystems throughout the world.

As a global problem, ocean acidification demands a global solution. Your organization, however, enjoys a unique position to grant immediate respite to marine life through the designation of additional Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). A number of statutes—including the Endangered Species Act (1973), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (1934) and the Wilderness Act (1964)—endow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the authority and flexibility to create new federal MPAs. In these protected zones, marine ecosystems have proven more resilient against global threats, such as warming seas and ocean acidification.

MPAs are not a panacea for ocean acidification, but as part of a coordinated response including local organizations and the international community, they do offer a short-term plan to reverse current trends. In the past, MPAs have also demonstrated unanticipated practical benefits, such as fish spillover and larval drift, helping to replenish fish stocks well beyond the area's designated boundaries. Additionally, these zones could help raise public awareness around the issue of acidification—the "hidden side" of the world's carbon crisis.

Given the imminence of ocean acidification, we cannot afford to wait for international consensus on carbon emissions. Additional MPAs offer an immediate and practical first step, and I hope your agency will exercise its legal authority to protect Earth's oceans and all who depend on them.

Petition Signatures


Jul 21, 2017 Pat Parkin
Jul 20, 2017 Alanna Reuben
Jul 20, 2017 William Tarbox
Jul 20, 2017 Karen Moore
Jul 20, 2017 Stephen Moyer
Jul 20, 2017 Karen Hurst
Jul 17, 2017 Oscar Landé
Jul 17, 2017 Linda Cypert
Jul 15, 2017 Audrey Peters
Jul 13, 2017 regina sondej
Jul 12, 2017 Arrie Hammel
Jul 12, 2017 Esmè Evans
Jul 12, 2017 Helen Wright
Jul 12, 2017 Jean Kim
Jul 10, 2017 Lydia Benade
Jul 9, 2017 Mary Ware
Jul 9, 2017 Jim Faulks
Jul 9, 2017 Mikki Mahoney
Jul 9, 2017 Kim Bingaman If the oceans die, we die
Jul 9, 2017 Debbie Davis CMKBD CAPS
Jul 9, 2017 Trina Snow
Jul 9, 2017 Elizabeth Frost
Jul 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 3, 2017 dana newsom
Jun 27, 2017 JANICK SANSON
Jun 26, 2017 Sheila Parks
Jun 24, 2017 imke mock-peters
Jun 22, 2017 Jacqueline Rule
Jun 22, 2017 Rilla Heslin
Jun 21, 2017 Colette Winslow
Jun 21, 2017 Agnes Hetzel
Jun 18, 2017 Manuela Nestler
Jun 17, 2017 M C MYERS
Jun 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 15, 2017 SOFIA KALLIOLIA
Jun 15, 2017 Salaheddin Moustafa
Jun 14, 2017 Sheryl Alinger
Jun 13, 2017 Anne Smith
Jun 13, 2017 william bedinghaus
Jun 13, 2017 Angelique de quillettes
Jun 13, 2017 Karen McHugh
Jun 13, 2017 Kimberley Turnbull
Jun 10, 2017 Ellen Prior
Jun 10, 2017 Jim Spooner
Jun 9, 2017 Stephanie Brake
Jun 9, 2017 Beth Smith
Jun 8, 2017 Tracy Schalk
Jun 8, 2017 Kris Peterson
Jun 6, 2017 Maiko Kushida
Jun 4, 2017 Petra Jones

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