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This past spring, unprecedented numbers of sea lions have washed up along California's shores, malnourished and dehydrated. Rescue organizations are at max capacity and have declared a "state of emergency" as they race to secure the resources necessary to rehabilitate these stranded animals. These recent developments only emphasize the urgent need for immediate action to protect our oceans. Sign the petition and explore "more about this issue" below.
Goal: 30,000 Progress: 22,108
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.

Sign Here

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 18, 2014 Maria Riojas
Apr 17, 2014 Robin Layman-Atkins
Apr 17, 2014 Kate Thomas
Apr 17, 2014 Kathryn LeMosy
Apr 17, 2014 Christine Antoniadis
Apr 17, 2014 Marilyn Mahoney
Apr 17, 2014 kay joy
Apr 17, 2014 elaine peters
Apr 17, 2014 Krystie Addison
Apr 16, 2014 Christine Pritchard
Apr 15, 2014 Paula Baptista
Apr 15, 2014 natalie hughes
Apr 15, 2014 Sheila VanEssen
Apr 15, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 15, 2014 Kimberly McDonald
Apr 14, 2014 Roland Cavazos
Apr 14, 2014 Sally Lynch
Apr 14, 2014 William & Marianne Sherman
Apr 14, 2014 Caro Caro
Apr 14, 2014 SANDRA VITO
Apr 14, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 14, 2014 Leticia Farjeat
Apr 14, 2014 Laurie Fisher
Apr 14, 2014 Jodi Roth
Apr 12, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2014 Jennifer Wolf
Apr 11, 2014 Wendy Larkin
Apr 10, 2014 Jon Martell
Apr 10, 2014 Amy Tray
Apr 10, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Apr 9, 2014 Richard Bosboom
Apr 9, 2014 Cherri Wachter
Apr 9, 2014 Tom Bellamy
Apr 9, 2014 Isabelle d'Agostino
Apr 9, 2014 Rosa Arsiaga
Apr 9, 2014 Philippe Tomballe
Apr 7, 2014 Doris Volmar
Apr 7, 2014 Fátima Marques
Apr 6, 2014 Laura Genovese
Apr 6, 2014 Frank Travell
Apr 6, 2014 Cristina Silvano
Apr 6, 2014 Kathryn Segal
Apr 6, 2014 Monique TONET
Apr 5, 2014 morty GR
Apr 5, 2014 Donna Kantner
Apr 5, 2014 Christine Lionel This must stop our oceans/planet must be saved
Apr 5, 2014 marie Darling
Apr 5, 2014 Jackie McNeely-Estes

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