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Goal: 45,000 Progress: 34,523
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

Feb 26, 2017 Donna Drabek
Feb 26, 2017 labarre Paola
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
Feb 15, 2017 Nico Sandman
Feb 13, 2017 Sarah Lopez
Feb 13, 2017 Rachelle Carlson
Feb 13, 2017 Margaret Claghorn
Feb 12, 2017 Fatima Pelaez
Feb 12, 2017 Christine Traylor
Feb 12, 2017 leslie shellberg
Feb 10, 2017 Laura Harris
Feb 10, 2017 José Ángel
Feb 9, 2017 patricia carrasco
Feb 9, 2017 JoAnn Dunn
Feb 9, 2017 john costazno
Feb 9, 2017 Jennifer Caley
Feb 9, 2017 Susan Ellis
Feb 9, 2017 Mick McMahon
Feb 8, 2017 Diana Swanson
Feb 6, 2017 Roxanna Abela
Feb 5, 2017 Shelby Fry
Feb 5, 2017 Anna Tangi
Feb 5, 2017 Stacey Govito
Feb 4, 2017 Cindy Ray
Feb 4, 2017 Franz Owczarek
Feb 4, 2017 Laurie Miner
Feb 4, 2017 Dana Jackson
Feb 4, 2017 Alexandra Saunders
Feb 3, 2017 danny senter
Feb 2, 2017 Linda Law
Feb 1, 2017 Jamie Smith
Jan 31, 2017 diane rockafellow
Jan 31, 2017 ivan mesic
Jan 30, 2017 Elsie Brooks
Jan 30, 2017 S A Shivers
Jan 30, 2017 Joan Mitsuka
Jan 30, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 28, 2017 Pauline Berg
Jan 27, 2017 Esme Rosa
Jan 26, 2017 Alexa Nienhaus
Jan 26, 2017 Kristy Ann Hennessy
Jan 26, 2017 Patricia Salazar Luna

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