Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First legal roadmap to tackle local ocean acidification hotspots

Date:
May 26, 2011
Source:
Stanford University
Summary:
Coastal communities hard hit by ocean acidification hotspots have more options than they may realize, says an interdisciplinary team of science and legal experts. Experts make the case that communities don't need to wait for a global solution to ocean acidification to fix a local problem that is compromising their marine environment.

Coastal communities hard hit by ocean acidification hotspots have more options than they may realize, says an interdisciplinary team of science and legal experts. In a paper published in the journal Science, experts from Stanford University's Center for Ocean Solutions and colleagues make the case that communities don't need to wait for a global solution to ocean acidification to fix a local problem that is compromising their marine environment. Many localized acidification hotspots can be traced to local contributors of acidity that can be addressed using existing laws, they wrote.

Related Articles


In addition to Stanford University, the team of experts drew from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and Oregon State University.

"Since an acidification hotspot can negatively impact a community, its causes need to be tackled quickly," said Melissa Foley of the Center for Ocean Solutions, a lead author of the paper. "We identified practical steps communities can take today to counter local sources of acidity." The paper, entitled "Mitigating Local Causes of Ocean Acidification with Existing Laws," is the first to lay out how acidification hotspots can be reduced by applying federal and state laws and policies at a local level.

Coastal waters have a pH "budget" that can be pushed beyond its spending limits when local and atmospheric sources of acidity are combined. Many hotspots are driven by local sources of ocean acidification, such as agricultural and residential runoff and soil erosion, not just by atmospheric CO2 being absorbed into the ocean. "The alignment of a localized ecological harm with a local policy solution is rare," said Ryan Kelly of the Center for Ocean Solutions, a lead author.

Ocean acidification reduces the ability of marine creatures to create shells and skeletons, harming everything from commercial oyster beds to coral reefs. Puget Sound, Wash., the Chesapeake Bay and other communities hit by ocean acidification hotspots have seen their livelihoods and lifestyles damaged.

A recent lawsuit against the EPA showed how existing laws could be applied to the problem of ocean acidification. In a memorandum required by the settlement, the EPA emphasized that states should identify waters that are impaired due to declining pH levels and track them over the long term. "Using pH levels as a type of 'master variable' helps judge the cumulative impact of a variety of pollutants that are flushed into the ocean by coastal communities," said Melissa Foley. "This is important to understanding the magnitude of a water quality problem."

Other co-authors of the paper are William S. Fisher, EPA; Richard A. Feeley, NOAA; Benjamin S. Halpern, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; George G. Waldbusser, Oregon State University; and Margaret R. Caldwell, Center for Ocean Solutions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. P. Kelly, M. M. Foley, W. S. Fisher, R. A. Feely, B. S. Halpern, G. G. Waldbusser, M. R. Caldwell. Mitigating Local Causes of Ocean Acidification with Existing Laws. Science, 2011; 332 (6033): 1036 DOI: 10.1126/science.1203815

Cite This Page:

Stanford University. "First legal roadmap to tackle local ocean acidification hotspots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526141410.htm>.
Stanford University. (2011, May 26). First legal roadmap to tackle local ocean acidification hotspots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526141410.htm
Stanford University. "First legal roadmap to tackle local ocean acidification hotspots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526141410.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctors Often Give In To Vaccine-Wary Parents

Doctors Often Give In To Vaccine-Wary Parents

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) A new survey published in the journal Pediatrics found many doctors are giving in to parents&apos; requests to delay vaccinating their children. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Who Survived Ebola Virus to File Lawsuit

Nurse Who Survived Ebola Virus to File Lawsuit

AP (Mar. 2, 2015) A lawyer for Nina Pham, the 26-year old nurse who survived after contracted the Ebola virus, says the young woman&apos;s &apos;life has changed forever. &apos; Pham is preparing to file a lawsuit against Texas Health Resources for negligence. (March 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile World Looks to 5G

Mobile World Looks to 5G

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The wireless industry&apos;s annual conference gets underway in Barcelona with 85,000 executives taking part and numerous new smartphones and watches being launched. As Ivor Bennett reports from the show the race for 5G is one of the key themes. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Texas Nurse Suing Hospital Where She Contracted Ebola

Texas Nurse Suing Hospital Where She Contracted Ebola

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) In an exclusive interview, The Dallas Morning News reports nurse Nina Pham is now suing Texas Health Presbyterian after contracting Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins