Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Campaign Calls for National Plan to Curb Ocean Acidification and Save Sea Life

Campaign Calls for National Plan to Curb Ocean Acidification and Save Sea Life

Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity launched a campaign today calling on President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a national plan to protect corals, salmon, otters and other sea life from ocean acidification. Each day the oceans absorb 22 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution from cars and industry. Impacts on fisheries and ecosystems could be devastating.

“Our oceans are facing a profound extinction crisis, unlike any other in human history,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. “Without help, the rich sea life we all value will be a shadow of its former self, and we’ll all be impoverished for it.”

As part of its new Endangered Oceans campaign, the Center is calling on the White House to direct the EPA to use the Clean Water Act to produce a detailed national action plan combating the acidification threatening ocean life and coastal communities.

The world’s oceans have already become about 30 percent more acidic since the Industrial Revolution as a result of a chemical change in seawater that happens when ocean waters absorb CO2 pollution that’s been emitted into the air. The rate of change in ocean chemistry has no precedent in geologic time. The last time seawater was so acidic, about 55 million years ago, there were massive species extinctions.

Today, ocean acidification is making it hard for animals such as corals and oysters to grow and survive. It’s also eroding the shells of tiny plankton that form the basis of the marine food web, which may result in large-scale problems up the food chain for sea stars, salmon, sea otters, whales and ultimately humans, many of whom rely on seafood to survive.

A conservative estimate of the damage our oceans will face from emissions-related problems—including impacts on fisheries, sea-level rise and tourism, as well as storm costs—amounts to $428 billion a year by 2050 and nearly $2 trillion per year by century’s end.

“The science is clear that our oceans face the prospect of collapse,” Sakashita said. “This is a human-caused crisis that can also be solved by people, too, if we act swiftly and powerfully. But national leaders must stand up and address the pollution that’s killing our oceans.”

In 2009 the Center for Biological Diversity sued the EPA for failing to address the impacts of ocean acidification in Washington state. As a result of a settlement, EPA acknowledged that ocean acidification is a water pollution problem that can and should be addressed by the Clean Water Act.

“This isn’t a problem that’s going to be solved by slow, incremental steps,” Sakashita said. “It’s time for the EPA to make a move: Develop a bold national action plan that ensures a future for our sea life.”

Learn more about our Endangered Oceans campaign, read a FAQ about ocean acidification and see profiles of affected wildlife and U.S. regions.

For more information, click here.


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less