Ocean acidification is changing the very chemical nature of our oceans, harming many important species today and threatening more in the future. The fishermen, shellfish farmers, coastal communities and tourists who depend on productive coastal areas for their livelihoods will suffer if we don't respond.
The U.S. lobster industry alone is worth $465.8 million annually. It is one fishery that desperately needs more research to better understand how acidification might impact the people and communities that depend on lobster. In addition, federal research dollars can help avert impacts by enabling local businesses that rely on the lobster fisheries to remain productive through awareness and adaptation. Yet the federal government only budgets $6 million a year for ocean acidification research.
We need your help to change that before the problem gets worse. Ask your Senators to increase ocean acidification research funding to $15 million immediately.
As you consider federal funding levels for the FY2015 appropriations cycle, I urge you to support expanding the funding for ocean acidification research to $15 million, in line with the president's FY2015 budget. The "Integrated Ocean Acidification" line item resides in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research line office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is funded through the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. For FY2014, ocean acidification research was funded at $6 million. Given the serious nature of this threat to our coastal communities and the millions of Americans who depend on a healthy ocean for their livelihoods, I believe $15 million for ocean acidification research is a smart investment to make today.
Ocean acidification is changing the very chemical nature of our ocean, harming many important species today and threatening more in the future. Fishermen, shellfish farmers, coastal communities and tourists who depend on productive coastal areas for their livelihoods will suffer if we don't respond to this challenge. Federal research dollars can help avert impacts by deepening our scientific understanding of this problem and enabling local businesses to remain productive through awareness and adaptation.
This line item will help scientists and policymakers better respond to ocean acidification on a local and regional level. Increased funding for ocean acidification research will provide desperately needed resources to help us address one of the most critical threats to coastal communities and the ocean today.
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