Understanding Ocean Acidification

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This PSA is sponsored and developed by the Environmental Defense Center and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

You can help protect the ocean!


  • The ocean plays a key role in regulating the Earthís atmosphere: It absorbs the carbon dioxide that we generate when we burn fossil fuels.
  • Our output of carbon dioxide has rapidly increased since the Industrial Revolution: This has resulted in the ocean absorbing more and more carbon dioxide over time. The ocean has become 30% more acidic since the 1850ís.
  • This increase in carbon dioxide has triggered a process called ocean acidification: As CO2 dissolves in seawater, it lowers the oceanís pH and makes it more acidic. It also reduces the amount of calcium carbonate (a building block of shells) available to animals such as oysters, clams and mussels.
  • These changes are already affecting businesses, livelihoods, and wildlife: Oyster farmers in Washington and Oregon lost millions when corrosive seawater killed their oyster larvae. But ocean acidification wonít just impact oysters; it will affect corals and many other ocean creatures too.

Sign The Pledge:

“I pledge my name in support of protecting our ocean. I pledge to educate others about ocean acidification. I pledge to get involved in helping to reduce CO2 emissions and transition to clean energy sources. By uniting my voice with others, we have the power to change the world.”

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“I pledge to help the planet by:
Riding my bike to work as much as possible; dirving less; voting for clean energy; and talking about ocean acidification to anyone, any time…”
– Carol Blanchette,
Research Biologist, UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute

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