Ocean acidification an emerging issue in Maine

AUGUSTA – A healthy ocean is vital to Maine’s economy, particularly to the commercial fishermen and other marine-related businesses in southern coastal communities like Scarborough, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.
 
Now, the Maine Legislature has created a first-of-its-kind group, which is tasked with studying the negative impacts of ocean acidification and making recommendations for how to combat the problem.
 
The new Maine Ocean Acidification Commission, consisting of 16 members, officially kicked off during a press conference held last week.
 
The commission includes state Rep. Wayne Parry, who is a lobsterman from Arundel; Joe Payne, bay keeper for the Friends of Casco Bay; Mark Green, a professor of oceanography at Saint Joseph’s College; and Larry Mayer, Ph.D., a professor of oceanography at the University of Maine, among others.
 
“This commission is the first of its kind on the East Coast,” Beth Ahearn, program manager for the Maine Conservation Alliance, said in a press release. “There is no doubt that the time to act is now. This marks an important step forward in protecting Maine’s shellfish and coastal jobs from the growing threat of ocean acidification.”
 
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