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.