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 +<div class="​author blog">​
 +<​figure>​ <img
 +alt="​Rep. Suzanne Bonamici Headshot">​ </​figure>​
 +<div class="​byline vcard group ">
 +<div class="​info">​ <a rel="​author"​
 +class="​name fn">​Rep. Suzanne Bonamici</​span></​a>​ <a
 +a fan</​a>​ <span class="​teaser">​
 +<​p>​U.S. Representative,​ Oregon'​s First Congressional
 +<h1 class="​title">​Our Oceans Can't Wait Any Longer</​h1>​
 +<div class="​headline group">​
 +<div class="​times">​ <span class="​posted">​ Posted: <time
 +datetime="​2014-08-04T16:​54:​11-04:​00">​ 08/04/2014 4:54 pm
 +EDT </​time>​ </​span>​ <span class="​updated">​ Updated: <time
 +datetime="​2014-10-04T05:​59:​07-04:​00">​ 10/04/2014 5:59 am
 +Congress has now adjourned for the month of August with many
 +issues still unaddressed. In the House of Representatives
 +several key policy provisions remain in limbo - extending
 +emergency unemployment insurance, a long-term solution to
 +infrastructure funding, and the broken immigration system. And
 +the House has not taken even a small step toward addressing
 +one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change. </​div>​
 +<div class="​content"​ id="​mainentrycontent">​
 +<p>As a member of the Safe Climate Caucus and the ranking member
 +of the House Science Committee'​s Subcommittee on Environment,​ I
 +often speak with colleagues who express frustration that
 +policies to address climate change are not being made a
 +priority. We are seeing the effects throughout the country as
 +extreme weather events increase in frequency and severity and
 +temperatures rise.</​p>​
 +<p>In Oregon, the state I am proud to call home, we are also
 +affected by another consequence of climate change: ocean
 +acidification. </p>
 +<​p>​Carbon pollution is not only heating our planet; it is also
 +making the oceans more acidic. Excess carbon dioxide in the
 +atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, increasing the acidity of
 +the water and harming sea life. According to the National
 +Climate Assessment released earlier this year, the combination
 +of seasonal upwelling and other regional factors in the Pacific
 +Northwest create some of the most corrosive ocean conditions in
 +the world.</​p>​
 +<​p>​According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel
 +on Climate Change, the current rate of ocean acidification is
 +unprecedented. We are already seeing changes that affect marine
 +organisms and ecosystems. Ocean acidification is threatening
 +oysters and many other calcifying organisms by making it harder
 +for them to grow their protective shells and skeletons. The
 +oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest is particularly
 +vulnerable to ocean acidification and they have experienced
 +significant production losses in recent years.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The problem has reached such a level that the traditional
 +process of growing oysters is no longer economically viable in
 +some areas. Some hatcheries have had to shift their operations
 +to Hawaii or install expensive machinery to monitor the ocean
 +water. Ocean acidification is a serious challenge to this $273
 +million industry, which saw a 60 percent drop in hatchery
 +production of oysters in 2008 and a devastating 80 percent drop
 +in production in 2009. </p>
 +<​p>​Ocean acidification has contributed to softened clam shells in
 +some areas and to mass die-offs of mussels and young scallops on
 +Northwest shores. It is dissolving plankton species that many
 +larger ocean creatures rely on for food, threatening the ocean
 +food chain. </p>
 +<​p>​Last year the leaders of Oregon, California, Washington, and
 +British Columbia wrote to President Obama and Prime Minister
 +Stephen Harper to seek support for ocean acidification research
 +and to encourage action to mitigate its impact. They stressed
 +that the effects of ocean acidification "are expected to lead to
 +irreversible losses to our region'​s commercial, recreational and
 +culturally important marine resources."​ Increasing acidity also
 +threatens the economically important fish and shellfish industry
 +on the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. </p>
 +<​p>​The President'​s budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2015
 +acknowledged the growing threat posed by ocean acidification by
 +requesting $15 million for federal research and monitoring
 +activities. Unfortunately,​ the House Appropriations Committee
 +allocated less than half that amount. As we consider funding
 +bills for the upcoming fiscal year, it is essential that we
 +acknowledge this critical issue and direct more resources to
 +understanding and addressing ocean acidification.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Let'​s not sit and watch as our ocean waters increase in
 +acidity, disrupting sea life, and resulting in countless
 +negative environmental and economic effects. Let's act now to
 +address these important issues before they get worse. Our oceans
 +can't wait any longer. Let's make combatting climate change a
 +priority. </p>
 +<​p><​em>​This post is part of a series from the Safe Climate Caucus.
 +The Caucus is comprised of 39 members of the House of
 +Representatives who have committed to ending the conspiracy of
 +silence in Congress about the dangers of climate change. For
 +more information,​ visit the <a
 +target="​_hplink">​Safe Climate Caucus website</​a>​ and like
 +the Safe Climate Caucus on <a
 +href="​https://​​safeclimate"​ target="​_hplink">​Facebook</​a>​.</​em></​p>​
 +<p> <b class="​follow_twt_author">​ Follow Rep. Suzanne Bonamici on
 +Twitter: <a target="​_blank"​
 +</b> </p>
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