Pingree Reintroduces Ocean Acidification Bill; Climate Talk at Portland Public Library Next Week

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Oysters on the Half Shell at Maine Oyster Company, Portland Street, Portland.

For years now, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has been concerned about the impact of Ocean Acidification (“OA”) on the shell fish off Maine’s coast as well as other coastal communities across the country. This week, she reintroduced H. R. 1716, the Coastal Communities OA Act, which would require federal officials to work with coastal communities in Maine and around the country to address the impacts of OA.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

“Climate change and warming temperatures aren’t the only effects of carbon emissions that w have to worry about. OA is already having an impact on valuable Maine fisheries,” Pingree said in a recent press release. “I applaud state initiatives in Maine to help local communities deal with OA, but this multi-state issue deserves federal administration and coordination as well. It’s time we gain a deeper understanding of the potential impacts of companies so all of our coastal communities can plan for them.”

OA is product of increased carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere. Much of the C02 released into the atmosphere as greenhouse gas pollution gets absorbed by oceans, where it makes the water more acidic. This makes it harder for clams, mussels and oysters to fully form their shells. The impact on lobsters is less clear, but there is a serious concern that acidification coupled with warming waters could have a significant impact on lobster populations.

Pingree’s bill is cosponsored by six other legislators.

So important is the subject, that the Friends of Casco Bay are hosting a free event at the Portland Public Library, Monday, March 18, 2019 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Several staff members will present