House Resolution Addresses Ocean Acidification

U.S. House of Representatives Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and their colleagues on Dec. 16 introduced a resolution to call on the United States to adopt national policies and support international agreements to address ocean acidification, to study the effects of ocean acidification, and to address the effects of acidification on marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

Ocean acidification, a change in pH accelerated by the absorption of carbon dioxide by seawater, could cause vast changes in the oceans, ranging from a mass extinction of coral reefs to a collapse of the marine food web.

International ocean conservation group Oceana thanked Inslee and Markey for their leadership and urges members of the House of Representatives to pass this resolution without delay.

“This isn’t pie in the sky stuff here: ocean acidification threatens the foundation of life in our oceans,” said Inslee. “I am proud to work with Congressman Markey on this resolution and I hope to have it passed soon.”

“As NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told the Select Committee this month, ocean acidification threatens the shellfish and marine life that are a key part of our economy in Massachusetts,” said Markey. “Congressman Inslee and I are introducing this resolution today -- as the world gathers at the climate talks in Copenhagen – to highlight the need to address the impacts of ocean acidification on the health of our oceans. We need to act to restore balance to our energy policies and the pH level of our oceans.”

“We hope this resolution will strengthen U.S. efforts to control the damage to oceans caused by climate change, as we work toward a clean energy economy,” said Jacqueline Savitz, senior climate campaign director, Oceana.

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