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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,400
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 30, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 27, 2016 melissa bird
Nov 23, 2016 natasha liff
Nov 23, 2016 Paul Leeper #PlanetBeforeProfit #SUSTAINABILITY 1st
Nov 22, 2016 BobbyKat LittleCub
Nov 21, 2016 Amy Buquo
Nov 20, 2016 Randa Moody
Nov 20, 2016 Martine Macmillan
Nov 20, 2016 Alicia Hollinger
Nov 18, 2016 Maria Angeles Leorza Arechavaleta
Nov 17, 2016 K Zoll
Nov 17, 2016 Jennifer O'Dwyer
Nov 16, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 15, 2016 Leah Cox
Nov 14, 2016 Filippo Garofalo
Nov 13, 2016 Victoria Peyser
Nov 13, 2016 debra heatherly
Nov 12, 2016 Lara Polatas
Nov 12, 2016 Patricia Kimmel
Nov 12, 2016 Chris Harrison
Nov 11, 2016 MaryAnn Vasquez
Nov 9, 2016 Emily Willis
Nov 9, 2016 Garo Kassabian
Nov 8, 2016 Chris MacKrell
Nov 8, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 7, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 6, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 6, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 4, 2016 Claudia Köhler
Nov 4, 2016 Dragana Dominovic
Nov 3, 2016 Eve Delmonte
Nov 3, 2016 Ronald Wolniewicz
Nov 3, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 3, 2016 Nadja Leijonros
Nov 3, 2016 Kathy Wall
Nov 3, 2016 cynthia sloan
Nov 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Oct 31, 2016 Robin Jenkins
Oct 30, 2016 Eileen Fiorentino
Oct 29, 2016 Leslie Low
Oct 28, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Oct 28, 2016 Patricia Folwell
Oct 27, 2016 Laura Valentine
Oct 27, 2016 Adriana García Thank you for this oportunity.
Oct 26, 2016 Donna DeBroux
Oct 25, 2016 Ann Bragdon
Oct 23, 2016 Lorraine Morris
Oct 22, 2016 sheilah arbuckle
Oct 21, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2016 (Name not displayed)

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