Protecting and preserving our oceans during national ocean month (and all year long) | US EPA

From one perspective, the ocean looks vast and uniform. As a scuba diver I gained another perspective, experiencing the amazing details and diversity that hides under the waves. In EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, I have been granted that same deep dive – this time of the rules, initiatives, and programs designed to address the challenges that face our oceans and coasts.

The year 2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries ActEXITEXIT EPA WEBSITE. In the 50 years since the act was signed into law, the Ocean Dumping Management Program has prevented the disposal of many harmful and toxic materials in the ocean. Because of MPRSA, the ocean is no longer considered an appropriate disposal location for sewage sludge, medical and industrial wastes, or incineration at sea.

Threats to Ocean Health

The world’s oceans have a unique relationship with weather and climate – the oceans influence weather on a local and global scale, while changes in climate can fundamentally alter many properties of our oceans. Americans who enjoy and make their living near the coast or from the ocean are already experiencing the impacts of warmer waters, flooding of coastal communities, stronger storms, and changes in ecosystems and biodiversity. Carbon emitted by human activities is absorbed by the oceans and leads to a change in the chemistry of the ocean known as ocean acidification.

To help address ocean acidification, our oceans programs and the National Estuary Program are working with federal partners on new scientific insights, methodologies, and tools to understand ocean acidification trends, impacts, and solutions that are vital to mitigate and adapt to climate-induced ocean changes.

John Goodin, EPA, 23 June 2022. Full article.

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