I’m a scientist, and I’ve dedicated my life to finding solutions that help people and coastal communities. It may sound complicated, but really, it’s simple—if you add carbon emissions to seawater, the ocean turns more acidic. I’ve visited with shellfish growers and coastal businesses across the country, and I’ve seen firsthand the impacts of acidification.
So you can imagine my surprise, when Scott Pruitt—the nominee for the head of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)—was asked directly by Senators about ocean acidification, he wasn’t even willing to admit that ocean acidification is happening.
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on Mr. Pruitt for the head of the EPA. We want Senators to vote NO and OPPOSE Pruitt based on his unwillingness to admit that ocean acidification is really happening.
I can’t sit back and watch politics harm our coastal communities. We gave Scott Pruitt a chance, we listened to what he had to say at his confirmation hearings and his answers on ocean acidification are a total deal-breaker. Ocean acidification is happening. Shellfish growers in the Pacific Northwest nearly went bankrupt as a result. Lobstermen in Maine are concerned enough about acidification that they have traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to support important research that will tell them how lobster might be impacted.
As a scientist who has been studying the impacts of ocean acidification for 11 years, I can tell you the truth: ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution!
This means that shellfish could become scarce on people’s dinner plates—and hard to come by for hungry ocean wildlife.
The EPA’s mission is to protect our health and the environment. But, how can they do that if the head of the agency ignores proven impacts to coastal communities?
Ocean acidification is real! Please join me in taking action today by contacting your Senators.
Sarah Cooley, Ocean Conservancy, 31 January 2017. Article.