December 13, 2016

Contact: Sian Wu, sian@resource-media.org, 206-701-4734

Government leaders launch effort to protect ocean, coastal economies at risk

CORONADO, Calif. — Today leaders from around the world, representing U.S. cities, states, businesses and international federal governments, joined together to sign onto the newly formed International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification. Members of this new Alliance will work collaboratively and individually to take actions in order to combat ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions, as well as reduce future impacts to our coastal communities, economies and the health of our oceans.

“Climate change degrades our oceans and coastline,” said Governor Brown at a meeting of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification in San Diego. “Today, California’s taking additional steps to reduce ocean acidity, boost renewable energy and prevent further coastal oil and gas drilling.”

Scientists have found that ocean acidification resulting from greenhouse gas emissions has increased by 30 percent and is expected to double over pre-industrial levels by the end of the 21st century. The oceans are the primary protein source for 2.6 billion people, and support $2.5 trillion of economic activity each year. However, drastic changes are occurring in our oceans – from oyster hatchery die-offs to coral reef bleaching – that are being felt by coastal communities around the world.

With so much at stake, the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification’s Call to Action provides an immediate opportunity for interested parties across the globe to recognize ocean acidification as an imminent threat to coastal economies and ocean ecosystems. Alliance members will work to further five goals:

  1. Advance scientific understanding of ocean acidification
  2. Take meaningful actions to reduce causes of acidification
  3. Protect the environment and coastal communities from impacts of a changing ocean
  4. Expand public awareness and understanding of acidification, and
  5. Build sustained support for addressing this global problem

Individual members are committing to supporting the work of the Alliance broadly, and are committing to taking meaningful actions locally, by crafting their own jurisdictional Ocean Acidification Action Plans, focusing on advancing the five major goals of the Alliance. Some of the initial members of the Alliance include the states of Washington, Oregon and California, provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, nations of Chile, France and Cross River, Nigeria. Alliance Affiliates include Ocean Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Monterey Bay Aquarium. A full list of members can be found at www.OAAlliance.org.

To address ocean acidification on a global scale, the governments have formed the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (Alliance) by which members will commit to working collaboratively and taking individual actions that address the environmental and economic threat posed by ocean acidification within their region. More information at www.OAAlliance.org.

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