Markey Introduces Ocean Acidification Legislation

BARNSTABLE – Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan have introduced a legislation meant to protect the oceans and marine wildlife from acidification.

The Ocean, Coastal, and Estuarine Acidification Necessitates (OCEAN) Research Act would allow former acts and foundations that lapsed in 2012 to resume funding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ocean acidification is a result of carbon dioxide dissolving in seawater and forming acids, which is a harmful reaction for shellfish, coral reefs, and many other forms of marine wildlife.

Warming waters, harmful algal blooms, and low-oxygen “dead zones” can further exacerbate the problem of ocean acidification.

For the $500 million Massachusetts shellfish industry, ocean acidification can have a severe economic impact as well as ecological.

A breakdown of the funding includes $35.5 million per year from 2020 to 2024 for NOAA to research acidification with up to $5 million of it dedicated to research conducted via partnerships between the seafood industry and academic institutions, $20 million a year for the National Science Foundation research, and $1 million for the National Academy of Sciences to study acidification and stressors in estuaries.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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