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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 33,925
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


Apr 30, 2016 Michelle Noble
Apr 29, 2016 silva kruzic
Apr 29, 2016 Melinda Funk
Apr 29, 2016 Anne Pintozzi
Apr 29, 2016 Margaret Randall
Apr 29, 2016 Sheila Tunnell I totally agree!!
Apr 28, 2016 Jessica Robinson
Apr 24, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 23, 2016 Dolores Bonanno
Apr 22, 2016 kellyann morander
Apr 22, 2016 Sophia Garrahan
Apr 22, 2016 ernesto meloni
Apr 22, 2016 Maryellen Crummer
Apr 22, 2016 Evelyne Taylor
Apr 17, 2016 Michelle Lewis
Apr 17, 2016 Roneta Karmonaite
Apr 17, 2016 Sandy Ullrich
Apr 16, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2016 heather walkerden
Apr 16, 2016 Sara Valade
Apr 16, 2016 Jeanne Silver
Apr 15, 2016 Sandra Streifel
Apr 15, 2016 Dana Barry
Apr 15, 2016 melissa miller
Apr 13, 2016 julie mantua
Apr 12, 2016 mario giannone
Apr 11, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2016 Neda Eftekhar
Apr 10, 2016 Genesis Merano
Apr 9, 2016 yasuo nishiyama
Apr 9, 2016 Terena Powell
Apr 8, 2016 Igor Nieminen
Apr 6, 2016 Anne Mathot
Apr 6, 2016 Patti Lutke
Apr 5, 2016 Cécile DRUX
Apr 4, 2016 Deanna Horton Protect our wildlife
Apr 4, 2016 Beatriz Escalera-engel
Apr 4, 2016 Dawn Hiddemen
Apr 4, 2016 Aggie Parish
Apr 4, 2016 maria seabra
Apr 4, 2016 Sysan Urban
Apr 4, 2016 Jakob Andé Morken Valle
Apr 4, 2016 Lila Cahue
Apr 4, 2016 Wendee Bell
Apr 3, 2016 Deana Osuna
Apr 3, 2016 Felice Chesley
Apr 3, 2016 Lori Carrier
Apr 2, 2016 Simon Vivien
Apr 2, 2016 Erin Munavu
Apr 2, 2016 karen maguire

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