For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Lance Morgan Lance.Morgan@marine-conservation.org, 707-217-8242 (cell)
Mike Gravitz Michael.Gravitz@marine-conservation.org, 301-351-5052 (cell)
[Glen Ellen, CA] In response to the worldwide climate crisis and accelerating impacts from intensified storms, ocean warming, ocean acidification and altered distributions of commercial fish populations, House Natural Resources Chairman Grijalva and Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Kathy Castor introduced the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act.
The legislation proposes a broad array of ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis. Among the most significant provisions are those which: protect coastal and oceanic places where carbon is stored in natural systems like marshes, seagrass meadows, and mangroves – so-called Blue Carbon; increase the use of ocean-based renewable energy like offshore wind and reduce the use of fossil fuels in the maritime sector; increase protections for deep and shallow corals and marine protected areas; expand US goals for the area of ocean protection to 30% strongly protected by 2030; and promote coastal resilience and adaptation to climate change with nature-based solutions.
Lance Morgan, President of Marine Conservation Institute, said about this proposed legislation, “Thank you Chairman Grijalva, Chair Castor and others for your leadership in bringing this groundbreaking ocean bill to life. For too long, ocean and coastal communities have suffered impacts from climate change with no response. We now have a comprehensive bill before us that will preserve and restore important marine ecosystems and marine life and contribute to reducing climate changing carbon in the atmosphere through Blue Carbon solutions.
He added, “We couldn’t be more pleased to support this powerful set of ocean-based climate solutions and lend our marine science expertise to getting it passed and implemented. With this bill, the ocean –an area that covers 70% of the globe- moves beyond being merely a victim of climate change to being part of the solution. The US directly controls over 4.4 million sq mi of ocean, an area 25% larger than the US terrestrial landmass, and as such US ocean climate leadership is key to addressing climate change.
He concluded, “Provisions in the bill that preserve and restore important coastal and ocean habitats for fish and awe inspiring marine life like whales, sea turtles, porpoises, and seabirds are especially important. Strongly protecting at least 30% of each representative ecosystem in US oceans is a critical step in protecting marine life in our changing oceans.”
About Marine Conservation Institute
Marine Conservation Institute, founded in 1996, works in the U.S. and globally to seek strong protection for at least 30% of the ocean by 2030—for us and future generations. Our focus on protecting the ocean’s most important places follows several lines of work: identifying and advocating for strong marine protected areas; improving laws and other tools to better conserve marine biodiversity; catalyzing effective conservation by recognizing and elevating the best marine protected areas as Blue Parks; and accurately reporting on conservation efforts with our Marine Protection Atlas (MPAtlas.org).