Protect the Oceans from Devastating Acidification

  • by: Care2.com
  • target: EPA Administrator Jackson
Greenhouse gas emissions don't just affect land animals, they also pose an immediate and grave danger to all marine life. Right now, the ocean absorbs about a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions, and this carbon dioxide changes the chemistry of the ocean. Without intervention, the ocean's acidity level is expected to more than double by 2100.

Shellfish and coral are some of the most essential animals for the health of marine ecology, and they are also the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. As the acidity of the ocean increases, shells and coral reefs are becoming more fragile and developing more slowly, and high enough acidity would actually cause them to dissolve.

Sign this petition and urge the EPA to use its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and protect our oceans from devastating acidification.
Dear Administrator Jackson,

On June 10th of 2010, the Senate upheld the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. I'm writing to urge you to take advantage of this reaffirmed ability and protect the oceans from acidification.

The ocean absorbs about a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions, which has caused the acidity of the water to rise by 30 percent over the last 250 years. Without intervention, the acidity of the ocean is expected to more than double by 2100.

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Shellfish and corals need the mineral carbonate to form their shells and skeletons, but increasing acidity in the ocean reduces carbonate levels. With less carbonate, shells and coral skeletons are more fragile and slow-to-develop, and high enough acidity would actually cause them to dissolve. Coral reefs provide homes to innumerable species, and shellfish play an essential role in marine food chains. The continued attack on these species would be a devastating blow to marine ecology -- in addition to human infrastructures such as the fish industry and tourism.

Creating marine protected areas and ending destructive fishing can strengthen marine ecosystems to help them withstand ocean acidification, but ultimately, decreasing carbon dioxide emissions is the only thing that will save our oceans. Please help stop ocean acidification -- as well as climate change -- by taking active measures to limit the emission of the pollutant carbon dioxide.
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