New England states tackle ocean pollution

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — State legislators in New England are trying to form a multi-state pact to counter increasing ocean acidity along the East Coast.

The states are following a model set by Maine, which commissioned a panel to spend months studying scientific research about ocean acidification and its potential impacts on coastal industries. Legislators in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are working on bills to create similar panels.

The legislators say one of their challenges is finding local solutions to a global dilemma. Federal officials say the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide increased from 280 parts per million to over 394 parts per million over the past 250 years. They attribute the growth to fossil fuel burning and land use changes, and say worldwide oceans are becoming more acidic as a result.

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