With climate change expected to worsen over the next century — leading to increased coastal flooding, extreme weather, and ocean acidification — clean energy sources are needed now more than ever before. Oceana advocates for clean energy sources, including offshore wind energy, in addition to ending the expansion of offshore drilling activities.
The oceans absorb about one-third of the planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide, so they play a vital role in keeping the planet’s carbon cycle in balance. The oceans, however, have not been able to maintain their normal carbon upkeep with increased emissions. This has led to changes in ocean chemistry, causing them to become more acidic. Ocean acidification, often called climate change’s evil twin, has led to the degradation of coral reef habitats through coral reef bleaching, as well as adversely affecting food chains and other marine organisms, like shellfish.
The effects of increased emissions and climate change don’t stop at ocean acidification. The oceans are also warming, leading to sea level rise, more frequent coastal flooding, and increased storm intensity. As the oceans warm, more species are expanding their ranges into warmer waters, as well as altering their feeding, breeding, and migration grounds. For these reasons, the need to stop the expansion of dirty offshore drilling, control existing offshore drilling sites, and install clean energy sources is more prevalent than ever before.
What Oceana Does?
Advocating for clean energy
Oceana works globally to promote clean, renewable energy sources like offshore wind. In the U.S., Oceana is working to extend the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is needed to fund offshore wind projects, and Oceana actively works in both Europe and South America to push for energy policies that include clean energy. At the same time, Oceana works to ensure that offshore wind is installed safely and with an overall benefit to the world’s oceans.
Keeping offshore drilling from expanding
As Oceana pushes for renewable energy, Oceana works to ensure that all preexisting offshore drilling projects are operated safely and responsibly, while also working to keep new projects from developing. As proven by the BP oil spill disaster, offshore drilling can have devastating impacts on marine ecosystems and wildlife—from destroying fisheries, to harming marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds. For that reason, Oceana campaigns to keep seismic airgun blasting—a stepping stone to offshore drilling—from coming to the U.S. East Coast, as well as keeping the Arctic safe from oil exploration.