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A Voice for Our Ocean

Statement: Four Ocean Acidification Bills Pass Committee with Broad Bipartisan Support

Washington, D.C. – Today the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Environment Subcommittee held a markup of four bills addressing the impacts of ocean acidification. Jeff Watters, Director of Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy, sent a letter [hyperlink] in support of this legislation to committee leadership prior to the markup. Following today’s markup, Watters released the following statement:

“Today’s markup shows that leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize the importance of preparing their communities for the impacts of ocean acidification. This is about communities, coasts, science and innovation.

“We’ve already seen how ocean acidification can devastate the ocean resources on which coastal communities depend. Millions of jobs, livelihoods, cultures and ways of life, from the Pacific Northwest’s shellfish industry to Florida’s coral reef tourism, depend on this work.

“The legislation passed in committee today will strengthen our nation’s investments in ocean acidification. If passed into law, these bills will allow the needs of vulnerable coastal communities to drive federal research and monitoring efforts and spur technological innovation to better understand and deal with the impacts from acidification. It will also broaden the scope of federal work to better study and respond to acidification – not only in the open ocean, but also in estuaries and the coastal zone.”

Ocean Conservancy has worked on ocean acidification for 7 years, building stakeholder support among affected communities and bringing their voices to the national conversation to elevate ocean acidification as a bipartisan issue.

Legislation passed today by the House Environment Subcommittee:

H.R. 1237, the “COAST Research Act of 2019”
H.R. 1716, the “Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2019”
H.R. 1921, the “Ocean Acidification Innovation Act of 2019”
H.R. 988, the “NEAR Act of 2019”

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Jeff Watters is available for interviews upon request.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.