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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,887
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


May 23, 2018 Cassandra Santiago
May 23, 2018 Terri Robb
May 23, 2018 Barb Breese
May 21, 2018 Mary Lyda
May 21, 2018 Charles Riddle
May 21, 2018 Jaci Taylor
May 21, 2018 Lily Wong
May 21, 2018 Carol Painter Ph.D.
May 20, 2018 doris gonen
May 16, 2018 Guglielmo L
May 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 9, 2018 Corinne WOITIEZ
May 3, 2018 Lisa Saunders
Apr 27, 2018 suzanne caruso
Apr 23, 2018 Simona Eastlake
Apr 23, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 Donna Arnold
Apr 11, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 10, 2018 Sandy Lynch
Apr 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 7, 2018 Susan kauffman
Apr 6, 2018 Scott Torrens
Apr 6, 2018 Shirley Cooksley
Apr 5, 2018 jen plishka
Apr 5, 2018 Beau Ryba
Apr 2, 2018 Norma Morgan
Mar 29, 2018 cathy king
Mar 27, 2018 Angela Hembroff
Mar 27, 2018 Angelita Ritz
Mar 26, 2018 Candice C
Mar 26, 2018 Laurie Merline
Mar 26, 2018 Annemarie Ramaekers
Mar 25, 2018 Carol De Hart
Mar 25, 2018 Bonnie Schweinler If we kill the oceans, we kill ourselves too!!!!
Mar 25, 2018 Kathryn Summerfield
Mar 25, 2018 Aleksander Pavli
Mar 25, 2018 Kathy Jones
Mar 24, 2018 Joann Henderson
Mar 24, 2018 Rebecca Wright-Hyde
Mar 22, 2018 Evarie P
Mar 21, 2018 deb conley
Mar 20, 2018 Karen Iacenda
Mar 20, 2018 Lisa Delabre
Mar 19, 2018 Robert New
Mar 19, 2018 Richard Rheder
Mar 18, 2018 Bonnie Cohen
Mar 18, 2018 Yvonne Tota
Mar 17, 2018 Diane Summerville
Mar 17, 2018 Brent Pennell

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