Maine LD 1602 – Establishes a Commission to study the impacts of ocean acidification in Maine

On April 30, 2014 Maine addressed the threat of ocean acidification with a new law: 'Resolve, Establishing the Commission to Study the Effects of Coastal and Ocean Acidification and Its Existing and Potential Effects on Species That Are Commercially Harvested and Grown along the Maine Coast.’ The first of its kind on the East Coast, the law considers the impacts of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean on the ecosystem and on commercial shellfish grown and harvested along the Maine coast.

LD 1602 establishes a study commission to ensure coordination on ocean acidification research and responsive policy efforts. The law requires a study, review, and report on existing literature and data on ocean acidification so that the effects of ocean acidification and existing or potential impacts on commercially harvested and grown shellfish along the coast of Maine can be understood. The study will be a collaboration among Maine State fisheries managers, Maine State environmental experts, researchers from public and private universities and laboratories, commercial fishermen and aquaculturists, and other marine and environmental stakeholders.

The resulting report will provide: 

- information on the factors driving ocean acidification;
- recommendations to mitigate ocean acidification;
- recommendations to strengthen the scientific monitoring, research, and analysis regarding the causes and trends in ocean acidification;
- actions to protect commercially valuable shellfish species and Maine’s shellfish aquaculture industry; and
- a plan of outreach to the general public to increase awareness.

Rising levels of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use are causing changes in ocean chemistry. As carbon dioxide and seawater combine, carbonic acid forms - which can dissolve the shells of shellfish. Over the past two centuries, ocean acidity levels have increased 30 percent.
 

 

Publication Date: April 30, 2014

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  • State of Maine

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