Governor Kate Brown today joined leaders from around the world, representing U.S. cities, states, businesses, and international federal governments to sign onto the newly formed International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification. Oregon and members of this new Alliance will work collaboratively and individually to take actions in order to combat ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions, as well as reduce future impacts to our coastal communities, economies and the health of our oceans.
“Healthy oceans are integral to Oregon’s way of life, contributing to a thriving economy,” Governor Kate Brown said. “Oregon is proud to stand with our regional partners; I urge other governments, affiliates, and individuals to join this global effort to address the urgent threat of climate change.”
Scientists found ocean acidification resulting from greenhouse gas emissions has increased by 30 percent, which is expected to double over pre-industrial levels by the end of the 21st century. Prompted by these findings, scientists, along with coastal communities and business leaders, have urged action to take steps to protect the local environment and economy.
Oregon’s valuable seafood industry has already experienced local oyster larvae die-offs attributed to acidification. Commercial fisheries account for $500 million in personal income each year for Oregonians and supports local and coastal communities. Throughout Oregon, one out of six jobs contributes to cargo, recreation, industrial, commercial, or other activities at our ports. These jobs are worth over $4.5 billion in wages to Oregon’s economy.
Around the world, oceans are the primary protein source for 2.6 billion people and support $2.5 trillion of global economic activity each year. However, drastic changes are occurring in our oceans – from oyster die-offs to coral reef bleaching – and are already impacting coastal communities along Oregon, the West Coast, and around the world.
With so much at stake, the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification’s Call to Action provides an immediate opportunity for interested parties across the globe to recognize ocean acidification as an imminent threat to coastal economies and ocean ecosystems. Alliance members will work to further five goals:
Advance scientific understanding of ocean acidification Take meaningful actions to reduce causes of acidification Protect the environment and coastal communities from impacts of a changing ocean Expand public awareness and understanding of acidification Build sustained support for addressing this global problem Individual members are committing to supporting the work of the alliance broadly, and take meaningful actions locally, by crafting their own jurisdictional Ocean Acidification Action Plans, focusing on advancing the five major goals of the Alliance.
The Pacific Coast Collaborative, representing the U.S. states of California, Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia, was formed in 2008 when the leaders of the participating states and province agreed to work together on energy, climate, ocean health and other issues, as a region. To address ocean acidification on a global scale, the jurisdictions have formed the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (Alliance) by which members will commit to working collaboratively and taking individual actions that address the environmental and economic threat posed by ocean acidification within their region. More information at www.OAAlliance.org.