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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,924
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


Aug 15, 2018 Heidi Siebens
Aug 13, 2018 Andrea Bertram
Aug 7, 2018 Sandra Backelund
Aug 5, 2018 Deanna Phillips
Aug 4, 2018 carri perani-welsh
Aug 3, 2018 Elva Munro
Aug 2, 2018 Haley Svec
Aug 2, 2018 Pia Heyn
Aug 2, 2018 Rosalinda Turner
Jul 20, 2018 Vivian Bartlett
Jul 19, 2018 laura Haworth
Jul 19, 2018 Nadine Duckworth
Jul 18, 2018 Christopher Porter
Jul 18, 2018 Patricia Lewis
Jul 5, 2018 Harold And Mortensen
Jul 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 30, 2018 Elizabeth Chiribi
Jun 30, 2018 Jack Martin
Jun 29, 2018 Beverly Williams
Jun 29, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 29, 2018 ANGELIQUE MCCLEAN
Jun 27, 2018 Jacklyn Yancy
Jun 26, 2018 Becky Tank
Jun 21, 2018 Muriel BOU
Jun 14, 2018 Rick Hodorowich
Jun 8, 2018 Ana Chen
Jun 8, 2018 Kathy Dorr
Jun 8, 2018 mona boggio
Jun 8, 2018 Lisa Osthues
Jun 8, 2018 Karen Statkiewicz
Jun 8, 2018 Susan Hogarth
Jun 8, 2018 Dena Shelangoski
Jun 3, 2018 Beth Stauber
Jun 3, 2018 Rhonda Weeks
May 31, 2018 Mariana Lukacova
May 30, 2018 Sae Magata
May 25, 2018 Alison Aplin
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

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