Committee passes legislation to reauthorize (…) monitor ocean acidification

Today, the House Committee on Science and Technology approved two bills, H.R. 4174, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2007, and and H.R. 5618, the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008.

H.R. 4174, the FOARAM Act was introduced by Rep. Tom Allen ( D-ME ) on November 14, 2007. This bipartisan legislation directs an Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Technology to oversee the planning, establishment, and coordination of an interagency research and monitoring program to improve the understanding of the potential impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and establish techniques to conserve marine ecosystems.

“This Committee has continued to be a leader in the discussion of climate change and its consequences,” stated Chairman Bart Gordon ( D-TN ). “Ocean acidification is yet another phenomenon caused by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and it poses a significant threat to marine organisms and marine ecosystems. Earlier this month, the Energy and Environment Subcommittee heard from a distinguished panel of ocean and atmospheric scientists, who testified in strong support of this legislation.”

“What’s happening under water today could have a cataclysmic effect on millions of people on dry land tomorrow. Our oceans provide food and economic security for countless numbers of people, and they’re slowly being choked by water that is becoming more and more acidic,” said Research and Science Education Subcommittee Chairman Brian Baird ( D – WA ). “This legislation takes an important step into fully identifying the scope of the problem we’re facing. Only then will we be able to begin the search for solutions.”

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Next, these bills will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.

For more information on this markup including amendments, visit the Committee’s website.

House Committee on Science and Technology, 25 June 2008. Press release.

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