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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,470
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


Jan 21, 2017 Melora Jackson
Jan 20, 2017 Ewa Perczak
Jan 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 20, 2017 raju gupta-chaudhary
Jan 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 20, 2017 jon Slade
Jan 20, 2017 Jack Martin
Jan 19, 2017 Ellen Ribolla
Jan 18, 2017 Glenda Foreman
Jan 18, 2017 Devon Kerbow
Jan 18, 2017 Sarah Krause
Jan 18, 2017 Dat Tran
Jan 18, 2017 Nina Domergue
Jan 17, 2017 Pamela Lawson
Jan 17, 2017 nick jansen
Jan 15, 2017 Martin Henz
Jan 14, 2017 julian Zrnic
Jan 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 13, 2017 brenda allen Please help solve this problem of acidification of our waterways by granting a respite for marine animals.
Jan 10, 2017 kimber hawkey
Jan 10, 2017 Silver Moon
Jan 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 9, 2017 Cathleen Evans
Jan 9, 2017 Susan Ellis
Jan 9, 2017 Hetty Koen
Jan 8, 2017 Adrienne Divens
Jan 8, 2017 Holly Jensen
Jan 6, 2017 Antoinette Sevensma
Jan 6, 2017 Juergen Teuschl
Jan 5, 2017 Philippa Caville
Jan 2, 2017 Fred Fall
Jan 1, 2017 Amanda Barnes
Dec 29, 2016 M.Carmen Suarez
Dec 29, 2016 Amanda Imler
Dec 28, 2016 carol gagnon
Dec 24, 2016 sjef jansen
Dec 24, 2016 Johnnie Brunow
Dec 23, 2016 Carole Kubik
Dec 22, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 22, 2016 kayann ramos
Dec 21, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 21, 2016 Janine Corday
Dec 20, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 20, 2016 Glenn Stamm
Dec 20, 2016 diane mulhern
Dec 19, 2016 Marianne Christensen
Dec 18, 2016 Joyce Blaskovich It's not just nudibranchs that are at risk from excess carbon dioxide in our oceans, but if caring for them can move people to do something to mitigate climate change I'm for it.
Dec 18, 2016 Gabriel Gault We cannot ignore what's happeneing around us. The world is changing, we're experiencing a mass extinction across multiple species. Wise up before the effects can no longer be ignored, by then, it may be too late. Your ascendants will thank you.
Dec 18, 2016 karen wever
Dec 18, 2016 Dawn Brennan

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