California’s ocean is becoming more acidic as a result of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants. This fundamental change is likely to have substantial ecological and economic consequences for California and worldwide.
This document is intended to be a toolbox for understanding and addressing the drivers of an acidifying ocean. We first provide an overview of the relevant science, highlighting known causes of chemical change in the coastal ocean. We then feature a wide variety of legal and policy tools that California’s government agencies can use to mitigate the problem.
The State has ample legal authority to address the causes of ocean acidification; what remains is to implement that authority to safeguard California’s iconic coastal resources.