Did you know that ocean acidification isn’t just a far-away problem affecting the deep blue sea? Shallow coastal waters close to home are also taking up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and their chemistry is changing. In these estuaries and coasts, freshwater and ocean water mix, creating rich habitats for fish, shellfish, crustaceans, birds and other animals. People play, live, and work near these estuary and coastal waters. But scientists are finding that natural and human-driven processes in these areas sometimes intensify the effect of ocean acidification.
The bipartisan National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act of 2018 will help scientists, resource managers and communities understand and prepare for ocean acidification in these special nearshore places. The NEAR Act directs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene experts to evaluate what we know about acidification in estuaries and coasts, how other processes intensify it, and how we can close knowledge gaps with targeted scientific research in the coming years. Add your voice to the many who are telling their Members of Congress to support the NEAR Act.