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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,313
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


Sep 27, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 26, 2016 Sharon Sutton
Sep 22, 2016 Diani Tirado
Sep 22, 2016 Mmi Ngo
Sep 22, 2016 Margaret Vernon
Sep 20, 2016 John Walker
Sep 19, 2016 Stacey Smith
Sep 18, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 15, 2016 EJ Frost
Sep 14, 2016 Susan Lindsey
Sep 14, 2016 Karen Rubino
Sep 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 14, 2016 Keith D'Alessandro
Sep 14, 2016 Perri Sussman
Sep 12, 2016 Loretta Mick
Sep 12, 2016 Cinzia Moore
Sep 7, 2016 Angelika Braxton
Sep 7, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 7, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 7, 2016 Raphaël PONCE
Sep 6, 2016 Casey Pittman
Sep 6, 2016 Christine Haagensen
Sep 6, 2016 MARTHA RODRIGUEZ
Sep 6, 2016 Linda DeWitt
Sep 5, 2016 Christine Traylor
Sep 5, 2016 Phyllis Byndas
Sep 5, 2016 Cindy McGrath
Sep 5, 2016 Amber Swift As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love. Pythagoras
Sep 5, 2016 Vicky Palmerton
Sep 5, 2016 Doris Teel Everyone should help!
Sep 5, 2016 B. L. JONES
Sep 4, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 4, 2016 Summer Devlin
Sep 4, 2016 Virginia Dempsey
Sep 4, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Sep 4, 2016 Virginia Dempsey
Sep 3, 2016 Angela Bento
Sep 1, 2016 Elaine Davis
Sep 1, 2016 Prakash Shrivastava
Aug 30, 2016 Rachel Rakaczky
Aug 28, 2016 Paula Sorrentino
Aug 27, 2016 Dirk Verbeuren
Aug 27, 2016 Ken Stein
Aug 27, 2016 Diana Fisher
Aug 26, 2016 Lori Dozark
Aug 26, 2016 ariadna miller
Aug 26, 2016 Josie Allinson
Aug 26, 2016 Leslie Perritt
Aug 26, 2016 Quentin Fischer
Aug 26, 2016 Elizabeth Allen

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