Oceana is working to keep the oceans free of mercury, oil and other pollutants that threaten marine habitats, wildlife and humans.
Marine life and ocean ecosystems are threatened by renewed interest in oil drilling in the ocean spurred by a period of high gasoline prices. Expanded offshore drilling increases the risk of oil contamination to wildlife and communities, and contributes to economic losses and climate change. The risks are especially serious in the Arctic, a unique and fragile ecosystem where oil development is already underway and where even a small oil spill could be impossible to clean up.
The consumption of oil is a major contributor to climate change and ocean acidification, two serious threats to the ocean. In 2006, oil consumption accounted for nearly 45 percent of United States’ carbon dioxide emissions. The planet’s climate crisis will continue to worsen unless we quickly shift to a clean energy economy.
What Oceana Does
Preventing Seafood Contamination
Oceana’s campaign to stop seafood contamination is working to convince grocery stores to post the FDA’s mercury advice and to convince the remaining chlorine plants who use mercury to convert to mercury-free technology. Since the campaign began, hundreds of grocery stores have started posting the advice and several chlorine factories have closed or converted.
Regulating Greenhouse Gases
Oceana is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry by petitioning the government to regulate shipping emissions. Working with Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana petitioned the EPA to regulate shipping emissions in October 2007. Unfortunately, since the EPA did not respond accordingly, in July 2008 Oceana, along with the coalition of environmental groups and attorneys general from various states, filed a letter warning the EPA of impeding litigation if it does not respond to the petition.