Murkowski, Whitehouse, Senate colleagues reintroduce bill during CHOW to address ocean acidification

Washington, DC – During Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW), U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), co-chairs of the U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus, reintroduced the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, legislation that will ensure coordination and collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal entities on ocean acidification research and monitoring.

“Ocean acidification continues to increase as the climate changes, causing harm to ocean resources that many of our coastal communities, Alaska Native cultures, and economy relies on. If we don’t have policies in place to address and coordinate on ocean acidification, we are at risk of far-reaching impacts on shellfish, fish populations, and ocean ecosystems. The time to act is now so we can protect Alaskan subsistence communities and America’s seafood economy.” said Senator Murkowski. “I’m proud to reintroduce my Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act during Capitol Hill Oceans Week, sending a strong message to advocates in D.C. and across the country that we are committed to understanding the impacts and extent of climate change-caused ocean acidification, and what more we can do to ensure healthy oceans for future generations.”

“Ocean acidification caused by carbon pollution is a major threat to Rhode Island’s aquaculture industry and to the overall health of our oceans,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Our bipartisan legislation will build on local efforts to combat acidification across the country and ensure coastal industries can continue grow.”

This legislation would direct NOAA to collaborate with and support state, local, and tribal entities that are conducting or have completed ocean acidification vulnerability assessments or research planning to build upon the existing activities. The bill strengthens partnerships between NOAA and a wide range of stakeholders involved in ocean acidification research, such as indigenous groups, coastal communities, state and local resource managers, fishery management councils and commissions, and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

Office of the U.S. Senator for Alaska Ms Lisa Murkowski, 7 June 2023. Press release.

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