Murkowski Introduces Bill to Address Ocean Acidification

Helping Coastal Communities Better Understand and Respond to Ocean Acidification Impacts

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, legislation to address ocean acidification by identifying and assessing communities which are most dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may be impacted by ocean acidification. The bill would conduct coastal community vulnerability assessments related to ocean acidification, assessing the nature of social and economic vulnerabilities of coastal communities and identify the harmful impacts of ocean acidification on those communities.

The legislation also strengthens collaborations with a wide range of stakeholders including indigenous knowledge groups, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), regional Ocean Acidification Network, and Sea Grant into the planning and implementation of coastal assessments.

Click here for text of the bill.

“If we don’t develop the tools we need to assess and respond, our coastal communities will be hit the hardest by ocean acidification. So much of Alaska’s culture and economy thrive on the many resources that come from the ocean. And the impacts are far reaching –from the potential for fishermen to see a decline in catch, resulting in a loss of revenue and jobs to entire communities whose livelihood relies on subsistence fishing,” said Senator Murkowski. “The reality is our ocean is becoming more acidic and will impact our ocean resources, coastal communities, and beyond if we don’t take proactive steps to address it. My bill takes important steps in understanding just how ocean acidification is impacting our communities throughout Alaska and steps we need to take to maintain healthy oceans for generations to come.”

Senators Collins (R-ME), Peters (D-MI), and Whitehouse (D-RI) are original cosponsors. Congresswoman Pingree (D-ME) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives with Congressman Don Young (R-AK) as a cosponsor.