Sending Office: Bonamici, Suzanne
Sent By:
Maxine.Sugarman@mail.house.gov

Support Funding for Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring

*Programmatic Request*

Complete THIS FORM to Sign On

Deadline: Monday, March 25th

 

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in requesting the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to support robust funding for the NOAA Integrated Ocean Acidification Program in Fiscal Year 2020. Specifically, we are requesting that the program
be funded at $30.5 million.

The health of our oceans reflects the health of our planet, and greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are changing ocean chemistry. About one third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into our oceans, coastal estuaries, and waterways
causing them to become more acidic.

Ocean acidification threatens the blue economy, marine resources, industries, jobs, and coastal communities. As our oceans become more acidic, shellfish, coral, phytoplankton, and other marine organisms struggle to build their shells and skeletal structures.
Changes in ocean chemistry affect fishers and shellfish farmers who depend on the oceans’ resources to support their families and tribes that have rights and deep cultural and historical connections to diminishing species. Expanded scientific research and
monitoring will help identify risks and inform vulnerable communities, industries, and coastal and ocean managers on how they can best prepare and, when possible, adapt to changing conditions. Expanding research on economically important species and sensitive
coastal habitats can also help identify risks and strengthen our response.

Increased funding for the NOAA Integrated Ocean Acidification Program for FY 2020 could support:

  • Increasing efficiency of observing systems, including expanding long-term monitoring programs to better inform the regional needs of under-sampled regions, including Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Maine, and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay;
  • Expanding regional vulnerability and socioeconomic studies in areas of concern including the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Northwest, U.S. Pacific Islands, and Arctic and assess adaptation and mitigation strategies;
  • Strengthening the long-term stewardship and standardization of ocean acidification data to make it more accessible and better tailored to needs of regional stakeholders and the public; and
  • Developing partnerships with affected industries, the Coastal Acidification Networks, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System to develop adaptation strategies.

If you would like to sign the letter please, please complete this form. For additional information, please contact Maxine Sugarman in Rep. Bonamici’s office at Maxine.Sugarman@mail.house.gov. 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Bonamici                                                                  Denny Heck

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

 

Chellie Pingree                                                                        Donald S. Beyer Jr.

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

 

Letter Text:

Dear Chairman Serrano and Ranking Member Aderholdt:

We write to request your continued support for the Integrated Ocean Acidification Program to help coastal communities better prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change on our oceans. As you consider the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Act, we
respectfully request that you provide $30.5 million total funding for the Integrated Ocean Acidification Program. 

The health of our oceans reflects the health of our planet, and our oceans are taking the brunt of our inaction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. About one third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into our oceans,
coastal estuaries, and waterways. As oceans and estuaries absorb carbon dioxide produced by human activity, the waters become more acidic, destabilizing fisheries and threatening the future of coastal communities and ecosystems.

Ocean acidification is a significant threat to coastal communities and industries across the United States. On the West Coast, shellfish larvae are struggling to build their shells, leaving oysters and clams especially vulnerable. New England clams dissolving
in mudflats offer a preview of the negative effects of ocean acidification along the Atlantic coast. In Maine, fishermen are concerned about the implications of ocean acidification for the state’s iconic lobster industry. Emerging research from Alaska indicates
that ocean acidification could have devastating effects on commercially valuable red king crab and Tanner crab populations.

Changes in ocean chemistry threaten the blue economy, which contributes at least $352 billion in economic activity annually. Ocean acidification affects fishers and shellfish farmers who depend on the oceans’ resources to support their families, and the
tribes that have rights and deep cultural and historical connections to diminishing species.

Our oceans are resilient, and we can help them heal, but we cannot afford to wait. Expanding scientific research and monitoring of ocean acidification will help identify risks and inform vulnerable communities, industries, and coastal and ocean managers
on how they can best prepare and, where possible, adapt to changing conditions, thereby reducing adverse economic and environmental effects.

Federal investments in ocean acidification are advancing our understanding of the problem, but the scale of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program has not kept pace with the increasing severity and threats to our ecosystem. We urge you to allocate robust funding
for the NOAA Integrated Ocean Acidification Program for FY20 to:

  • Increase efficiency of observing systems, including expanding long-term monitoring programs to better inform the regional needs of under-sampled regions, including Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Maine, and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay;
  • Expand regional vulnerability and socioeconomic studies in areas of concern including the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Northwest, U.S. Pacific Islands, and Arctic and assess adaptation and mitigation strategies;
  • Strengthen the long-term stewardship and standardization of ocean acidification data to make it more accessible and better tailored to needs of regional stakeholders and the public; and
  • Develop partnerships with affected industries, the Coastal Acidification Networks, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System to develop adaptation strategies

We request a total of $30.5 million for the Integrated Ocean Acidification Program to support research on the effects of climate change on our oceans.

Thank you for consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Environment, Natural Resources, Science

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