Create an Oceanic Restoration Program within the EPA

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Currently, the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has 11 programs focusing on the restoration and protection of the Earth. Among these 11 programs, there are none that specifically focus on oceans. Oceans make up 71% of the Earth’s surface and provide 91% of the Earth’s water.

Coral reefs are not only a fundamental part of the oceans, but our world. Corals are home to thousands of marine species, in fact 36% of the world’s fish rely on coral to survive. In the United States, 94 million people - 29% of the country’s population - live on the coast, but they are not the only people who need the oceans. All people depend on the ocean to survive. The ocean provides food, transportation, a thriving economy, and, most importantly, 70% of the world’s oxygen.

The coral, and therefore the life they support, are dying. Scientists predict that the rapid acidification of the coral reefs will result in all reefs being pronounced dead by 2050. In a survey taken by Mansfield High School teachers and students, 97.6% of respondents believe that the preservation of natural reefs and the exploration of alternative measures must occur. Without a program within the EPA, this is not possible.

We understand that the ocean is not the responsibility of only one country, but someone must take charge. By creating an oceanic restoration program within the EPA, we will be one step closer to saving the coral reefs and, therefore, the ocean.