A law passed by the Maine Legislature will establish a commission to study and address the negative effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems and shellfisheries.

Supporters of the law called it the first of its kind on the East Coast.

It took effect Wednesday.

The commission will include fishermen, aquaculturists, scientists and legislators.

State Rep. Mick Devin, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, says the group will look for ways to protect the state’s marine resources and economy.

Supporters of the law say the ocean acidity levels have increased by 30 percent over the past two centuries.

They fear acidification could cause losses to Maine’s shellfish industry if left unchecked.

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