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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,751
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


Oct 16, 2017 Brent Pennell
Oct 14, 2017 Karl-Heinz Braun
Oct 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 13, 2017 Roseann Maziarek
Oct 13, 2017 Beah Robinson
Oct 13, 2017 Cassie Alford
Oct 3, 2017 Laura LaRocca
Oct 2, 2017 susan chapman
Oct 2, 2017 Mary Demarest-Paraan
Oct 2, 2017 Krystal Burroughs
Sep 29, 2017 K Moore
Sep 28, 2017 Karrie Vukelic
Sep 28, 2017 Sandra Tucker
Sep 28, 2017 Margaret Iacangelo
Sep 27, 2017 Pamela Trepke
Sep 26, 2017 Saddie Al
Sep 23, 2017 Sonja Chardonnens
Sep 20, 2017 Josie Avalos
Sep 19, 2017 Wanda Mahboub
Sep 17, 2017 Christine Zens
Aug 31, 2017 Wanda Majeski
Aug 31, 2017 Mary Galiani
Aug 31, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 31, 2017 Blaze Bhence
Aug 27, 2017 Claudia Schulz
Aug 24, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 24, 2017 Joan Christensen MPAs help to reverse ocean acidification.
Aug 22, 2017 Shona Steere
Aug 22, 2017 Julie Reid
Aug 20, 2017 chris maes
Aug 19, 2017 Alexandra Juvancic
Aug 19, 2017 Inga Frauke Majer
Aug 19, 2017 Gity Grupe
Aug 19, 2017 Ina Kornblum
Aug 19, 2017 Marzia Aiello
Aug 19, 2017 Tina Michelakis
Aug 18, 2017 Rolf Mense
Aug 18, 2017 Nena Woelk
Aug 18, 2017 Ted Williams
Aug 18, 2017 Ana Dimic
Aug 18, 2017 Rosana rosa
Aug 18, 2017 Debbie Macmillan
Aug 18, 2017 Leonella Leoni
Aug 18, 2017 Maria van Geel
Aug 18, 2017 Denise Bonet
Aug 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2017 esther kemperle
Aug 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 14, 2017 Juliane Rocha

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