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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,562
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


Mar 25, 2017 Christine Karstens
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 Margy Renner
Mar 20, 2017 Carole Gorecki
Mar 20, 2017 Michele Manuel
Mar 20, 2017 Yael Abraham
Mar 20, 2017 Monty Foley
Mar 20, 2017 Robin Schachat
Mar 20, 2017 Jennifer Lindridge
Mar 18, 2017 Laura Ramirez
Mar 17, 2017 corinne etancelin
Mar 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2017 Sandra Brooks
Mar 16, 2017 Christine Higgins
Mar 15, 2017 Sinje Fromme-Sachs
Mar 13, 2017 Adeline Wong
Mar 12, 2017 janine pol
Mar 10, 2017 Corey Williams
Mar 8, 2017 Julie Mullen
Mar 8, 2017 Henriette Matthijssen
Mar 8, 2017 Kyriaki P
Mar 8, 2017 Sigfrido Losada Torreiro
Mar 7, 2017 Evangelia Avrampou
Mar 6, 2017 Shirley Robinson
Mar 6, 2017 Stacy Wykle
Mar 6, 2017 Mildred Huffmire
Mar 6, 2017 Nancy Harper
Mar 6, 2017 linda hawkins
Mar 5, 2017 Barbara Holdredge
Mar 5, 2017 Kathy Mason
Mar 4, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 3, 2017 Sue Hickford
Mar 3, 2017 Michèle Haudebourg
Mar 2, 2017 Brenda Pendergraft Ocean Acidification: The Hidden Side of Climate Change
Mar 2, 2017 Sharon brink
Feb 27, 2017 Robin Topete
Feb 27, 2017 Barbara Katafiaz
Feb 26, 2017 Donna Drabek
Feb 26, 2017 labarre Paola
Feb 25, 2017 ARIANNE CUSTER
Feb 22, 2017 Dulcie Camp
Feb 21, 2017 Annam Fisher
Feb 21, 2017 S Sinclaire
Feb 20, 2017 Cara Ammon
Feb 18, 2017 Natalia Smirnova
Feb 18, 2017 Linda Kehew
Feb 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 15, 2017 suzanne nadeau

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