Oil isnâ€™t the only pollutant pouring into the oceans these days. Thereâ€™s another big one, only itâ€™s much more insidious and widespread: carbon dioxide.
Today Oceana board member and actor Sam Waterston will be on Capitol Hill urging Congress to take action to stop ocean acidification.
Last year, Congress passed the Federal Oceans Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, which created an ocean acidification program in the federal government. Waterston will call on Congress to fully fund and implement the program.
Today is a big day -- weâ€™re launching an exciting initiative leading up to World Oceans Day on June 8. And itâ€™s all about everyday ocean heroes.
First, starting today you can be an ocean hero by pledging to help protect the oceans. For every pledge made, weâ€™ll receive $1 toward our campaign work -- up to $100,000!
In case you need more encouragement, here are some of our celebrity supporters in a brand new PSA:
And secondly, today is the official start of voting for our Ocean Heroes Contest. After you pledge, you'll have the chance to vote on this year's Ocean Hero. We received more than 300 nominations, and weâ€™ve narrowed it down to six adults and five juniors, all with incredible stories.
Thanks to everyone who shared their stories -- they were a lot of fun to read, and it was hard to choose. I'll be highlighting the finalists in the coming weeks here on the blog.
And once you have pledged and voted, you can encourage others to do the same. By placing our pledge widget on your blog or website, you can help us reach the $100,000 mark. And if thereâ€™s an ocean hero finalist you really want to win, you can help them garner more votes with our campaign badges.
So pledge, vote and start spreading the word!
The current acidification level hasn't been seen for at least 800,000 years, and acidification is coming on 100 times faster than at any point for hundreds of thousands for years. The levels are alarming. The rate of change makes them even scarier, because it so restricts the ability of sea creatures to adapt.
In contrast to the debate that continues about the causal relationship between this or that weather event and human activity, there is no debate about the source of ocean acidification. The change in the chemistry of the ocean is a man-made event, plain and simple, and the consequences of its continuing rise in acidity will belong squarely to us.
It will make for some uncomfortable moments around the dinner table when our children and grandchildren ask, "What did you do in the [climate] war, Daddy?" If we don't recognize the ocean's warning, the first cataclysm from man-made carbon dioxide emissions that will get our attention will be the collapse of the oceans.
If we do recognize the warning, the oceans are ready to be a solution. Power in the tides and waves is there to tap. Offshore wind power is a technology that's ready to go right now, near the great population centers on our coasts, where it's most needed.