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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 33,950
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.

Sign Here

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

May 21, 2016 Karen Brenton
May 21, 2016 Christine Durkin
May 20, 2016 Jackie Bade
May 18, 2016 Lisa Lucchetti
May 18, 2016 Janice Cooper
May 17, 2016 kristin Trager
May 17, 2016 Hanni Gennat
May 17, 2016 Debbie Kraft
May 17, 2016 Joëlle Rambert
May 16, 2016 Selena Harrison
May 14, 2016 Chevalier Guy
May 12, 2016 Yana Romano
May 12, 2016 Susanne foegen
May 12, 2016 Akiko Kimura
May 12, 2016 Maria Barrios Thank you for helping our environment
May 11, 2016 Aura Mix
May 11, 2016 Denise Cronin
May 11, 2016 Patti Wright
May 11, 2016 Franca Faustini
May 11, 2016 Angela Olivier
May 9, 2016 deanna horton Please protect our wildlife and their environment
May 8, 2016 Cindy Hoffer
May 3, 2016 mary mcbride
May 1, 2016 cevat kaya
Apr 30, 2016 Michelle Noble
Apr 29, 2016 silva kruzic
Apr 29, 2016 Melinda Funk
Apr 29, 2016 Anne Pintozzi
Apr 29, 2016 Margaret Randall
Apr 29, 2016 Sheila Tunnell I totally agree!!
Apr 28, 2016 Jessica Robinson
Apr 24, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 23, 2016 Dolores Bonanno
Apr 22, 2016 kellyann morander
Apr 22, 2016 Sophia Garrahan
Apr 22, 2016 ernesto meloni
Apr 22, 2016 Maryellen Crummer
Apr 22, 2016 Evelyne Taylor
Apr 17, 2016 Michelle Lewis
Apr 17, 2016 Roneta Karmonaite
Apr 17, 2016 Sandy Ullrich
Apr 16, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2016 heather walkerden
Apr 16, 2016 Sara Valade
Apr 16, 2016 Jeanne Silver
Apr 15, 2016 Sandra Streifel
Apr 15, 2016 Dana Barry
Apr 15, 2016 melissa miller
Apr 13, 2016 julie mantua

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