Juneau, AK (KINY) - Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced a bill that looks to identify coastal communities that rely on ocean resources and how to further protect those ecosystems.
The bill is called the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2017 and focuses on island communities, low-population rural communities, and subsistence communities, that are most dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may be impacted by ocean acidification.
Via the press release, Senator Murkowski said, "“Alaska’s culture and economy thrive on so many resources that come from the ocean. This proactively addresses a very real issue and will help us all gain a deeper understanding of how ocean acidification is affecting our coastal and subsistence communities throughout Alaska. This is significant legislation for those living in a state or community whose livelihood greatly depends on the health of our oceans.”
Sarah Cooley, Director of the Ocean Acidification Program at Ocean Conservancy added, "“At a time when partisanship is at an all-time high, this bipartisan group of Senators have joined together to introduce legislation that would help our nation’s coastal communities better understand and respond to the impacts associated with ocean acidification. The science is clear: the ocean is becoming acidified. This is a major threat to a variety of ocean resources that coastal communities depend on, and we must rise to the challenge and tackle this problem head-on.”
The act requires three things to be identified in assessments: the communities that are most dependent on ocean and coastal resources, the nature of the social and economic vulnerabilities of the communities, and identify the harmful impacts of ocean acidification on those communities.