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Law & Order’s Sam Waterston has penned an article for CNN.com on the issue of ocean conservation.

The actor is a member of the board of directors of Oceana, a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect the world’s oceans by opposing overfishing and pollution, and has been honored several times for his conservation work.

“For 800,000 years, the seas were a stable solution, a hospitable solution for all sorts of creatures to live in, and a generous solution to all sorts of human problems, from food supply to waste disposal,” wrote the veteran actor. "We must not make them inhospitable, for people or for the 80 percent of life on the planet that lives in them.

“As a native New Englander, I know full and well how much we depend on the oceans. They have often been a solution for our problems.

“They’ve been a highway for goods and people, connecting us to the world, and a barrier against foreign invasion, protecting us from the world; a source of food and wealth, going back to our earliest beginnings, when whale oil lit our houses and when cod were so plentiful that huge specimens were commonly stacked like cordwood on our docks and wharves, and still there were so many that you could almost walk on their backs across some harbors.”

Waterston goes on to write about carbon levels in the ocean and the effect they have on living creatures.

“For the last 250 years, the oceans have absorbed 30 percent of the carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, moderating and masking its global impact. They take in 11 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Each year, the amount we release grows another 3 percent.

“Carbon dioxide in the sea is the front line of climate carbon addiction. Reverse the trend toward ocean acidification, and we will also have made a giant stride in addressing the effects of climate change. The sea is warning us to change course and calling us to seize enormous opportunities. Now.”

To read the full article, visit the CNN website here.

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