CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ocean acidification is a complex global problem because of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, but there also are a number of local acidification “hotspots” plaguing coastal communities that don’t require international attention – and which can be addressed now.
A regulatory framework already is in place to begin mitigating these local hotspots, according to a team of scientists who outline their case in a forum article in the journal Science.
“Certainly, ocean acidification on a global level continues to be a challenge, but for local, non-fossil fuel-related events, community leaders don’t have to sit back and wait for a solution,” said George Waldbusser, an Oregon State University ecologist and co-author of the paper. “Many of these local contributions to acidity can be addressed through existing regulations.”
A number of existing federal environmental laws – including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act – provide different layers of protection for local marine waters and offer officials avenues for mitigating the causes of local acidity. …