Monday, January 19, 2009

Senate passes Lautenberg measure on ocean acidification

Via Ocean Acidification:

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Legislation authored by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to focus research on rising ocean acidity passed the Senate yesterday. Ocean acidification harms marine life and poses serious risks to the fishing industry.

“Ocean acidification is a serious threat to our environment and to our marine life,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “Changes in ocean chemistry, caused by greenhouse gases, will affect our food supply and the health of our oceans. But research on ocean acidification is still in its infancy. My legislation would provide the needed research to analyze and address the environmental and economic impacts of ocean acidification.”

Increased carbon dioxide emissions are causing oceans to become more acidic. Ocean acidity has increased 30 percent in the last 100 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA also projects that, by the end of this century, current levels of carbon dioxide emissions would result in the lowest levels of ocean pH in 20 million years.

Oceans require a balanced pH to maintain water quality favorable to marine life. If oceans become too acidic, the shells of scallops, clams, crabs, plankton, corals and other marine life begin to dissolve. In New Jersey, sea scallops and clams are some of the state’s most valuable fisheries, valued at $121 million, according to NOAA.

Sen. Lautenberg’s bill, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2007 (FOARAM), would require a committee of federal agencies led by NOAA to coordinate research and monitoring of acidification of our oceans, develop a national plan to assess the environmental and economic impacts, and recommend solutions. The measure would also establish an ocean acidification program in NOAA - the federal agency with primary responsibility for preserving the health of our oceans and marine life. ...

Michael Pagan,, 16 January 2009. Article.

Senate passes Lautenberg measure on ocean acidification
Mon, 19 Jan 2009 08:38:54 GMT

Technorati Tags: ,,

No comments: