Just two days before the deadline for submitting comments, Global Ocean Health discovered that the State Department’s 2014 Climate Action Report, which is submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, used the phrase “ocean acidification” only twice in over 300 pages, and was not addressing its potentially devastating effect on fisheries. With no time to lose, GOH sent out an email alert to all their contacts, letting them know that stakeholders needed to act fast and show the State Department the importance of ocean acidification. The response they received was astonishing: the editor of Seafood Business wrote this inspiring editorial, and letters were sent by two NW treaty Indian tribes (one of them working jointly with GOH) and the vice president of a major seafood processing association.
When all was said and done, GOH received an email of thanks from Foreign Affairs Officer Andrew Rakestraw at the US Department of State, for the jointly submitted comments on ocean acidification: “Your comments improved the breadth and depth of the report. Please note that we’ve added a text box on ocean acidification in chapter 6 (page 156) of the report.” Where formerly OA had been mentioned only twice, there were now over 400 words concerning ocean acidification in a separate text box. What a difference two days, and the reaction of dedicated people, can make. View the finished chapter on Vulnerability, Assessment, Climate Change Impacts, and Adaptation Measures, including the new OA text box, here.