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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,787
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


Nov 21, 2017 GIGI LIEBENTHAL
Nov 20, 2017 patricia remollino
Nov 19, 2017 Lois Freeman
Nov 19, 2017 Elise McCoubrie
Nov 19, 2017 Marilyn Belcher
Nov 19, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 12, 2017 Shonna Myers
Nov 12, 2017 Christina Konle
Nov 12, 2017 marilyn evenson
Nov 10, 2017 Yael Saydon
Nov 9, 2017 Karen Spehar
Nov 8, 2017 Kathryn Anderson
Nov 7, 2017 Terril McMahon
Nov 2, 2017 Tara Spires
Nov 2, 2017 Alexandre Pereira
Nov 2, 2017 Denise Saccone
Nov 1, 2017 amrita biswas
Oct 31, 2017 Casey Kaemerer
Oct 30, 2017 Audrey Farrelly
Oct 29, 2017 Barbara gale
Oct 29, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 29, 2017 siobhan Perry
Oct 29, 2017 Deborah Moore
Oct 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 27, 2017 Ketmany Saycocie
Oct 26, 2017 Cathy Dennler
Oct 26, 2017 Kimberly Wallace
Oct 26, 2017 Carolyn Balls
Oct 26, 2017 Amina Dhumaad
Oct 25, 2017 Ina Pillar
Oct 25, 2017 Terri Lynch
Oct 25, 2017 doris gonen
Oct 23, 2017 Cathleen Cascia
Oct 22, 2017 Lucilla Bellucci
Oct 21, 2017 Randall Bong
Oct 21, 2017 Stacey Lopez
Oct 16, 2017 Brent Pennell
Oct 14, 2017 Karl-Heinz Braun
Oct 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 13, 2017 Roseann Maziarek
Oct 13, 2017 Beah Robinson
Oct 13, 2017 Cassie Alford
Oct 3, 2017 Laura LaRocca
Oct 2, 2017 susan chapman
Oct 2, 2017 Mary Demarest-Paraan
Oct 2, 2017 Krystal Burroughs
Sep 29, 2017 K Moore
Sep 28, 2017 Karrie Vukelic
Sep 28, 2017 Sandra Tucker

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