(SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

A private foundation has announced a $2 million competition to develop sensors to monitor the acidity of the Earth’s oceans.

The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize is offering the money to anyone who can create “accurate and affordable” sensors to monitor ocean acidity, which is increasing due to large quantities of carbon dioxide in the water. That threatens shellfish, corals and other ocean life. The prize could be split into two $1 million awards.

The foundation, whose president is the wife of Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and XPrize previously held a $1.4 million competition to develop a faster way to clean up oil spills.

XPrize, a nonprofit organization, hosts funded competitions in the areas of learning, exploration, energy and environment, global development and life sciences.