Oceans absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and although this acts as a buffer against global warming, the cost is high. CO2 alters seawater chemistry, causing it to become more acidic. Already, waters affected by acidification are upwelling, exposing marine life on the West Coast to corrosive waters; shellfish farmers are reporting failing oysters, possibly linked to acidification; and plankton in the polar regions are growing thinner shells. On the current trajectory, the acidity of the oceans will increase 100 to 150 percent by the end of the century.
We have an opportunity now to take steps to address this important threat. The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued an official notice calling for information on ocean acidification that the agency will use to evaluate water-quality criteria under the Clean Water Act. The notice responded to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity that sought to compel the agency to impose stricter pH criteria for ocean water quality and publish guidelines to help states protect U.S. waters from ocean acidification.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently soliciting information on ocean acidification that it will use to evaluate approaches to address the problem. Using the form below, please send a letter asking the agency to act now to curb this growing, potentially devastating threat to our oceans.