Video on NOAA work to breed oysters resistant to ocean acidification – Crosscut & PBS

Local PBS show ReInventors highlights the work of NOAA Manchester’s research facility as they race to find a hybrid oyster that can survive ocean acidification. A very good quick look at the problem, with animation, and the possible solution. If we are going to have seafood survive, this will likely hold the possibility. As it is currently going, we don’t have long before the oceans will be too acidic for shellfish to survive.

The story

https://crosscut.com/2018/10/can-these-super-oysters-survive-our-screwed-oceans

The video

https://youtu.be/WP8J0-90VoM

Study predicts decline in Dungeness crab from ocean acidification – Seattle Times

More on ocean acidification and it’s likely affect on our local food supply.

Dungeness crab are forecast to take a hit from ocean acidification driven by fossil- fuel combustion, according to a study released this past week. Though the populations of the Dungeness crab fluctuate year by year, their overall abundance by 2063 could be about 30 percent lower, according to federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study,  Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/study-predicts-decline-in-dungeness-crab-from-ocean-acidification/

Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs – Vancouver Sun

More research to understand how our addiction to fossil fuels is affecting our food sources.

Millions of pounds of Dungeness crab are pulled from Pacific Northwest waters each year in a more than century-old ritual for commercial and recreational fishermen. But as ocean waters absorb more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, U.S. scientists are worried that the ocean’s changing chemistry may threaten the sweet-flavoured crustaceans. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are exposing tiny crab larvae to acidic seawater in laboratory experiments to understand how ocean acidification might affect one of the West Coast’s most lucrative fisheries. Research published this year found that Dungeness crab eggs and larvae collected from Puget Sound and exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide — which increases ocean acidity — grew more slowly and larvae were more likely to die than those in less corrosive seawater. Now researchers at NOAA’s Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center are taking the experiments a step further to study how the crabs respond to multiple stressors during various growth stages. They also plan to analyze the sublethal effects: Even if the crabs don’t die are they affected in physiological or other ways by ocean acidification? (Associated Press)

Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs

Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs -Associated Press

Dungeness Crab is important to our economy and diet, along with the importance to the Tribes as subsistent living guaranteed by the Treaty of 1858. The ramifications of global warming and ocean acidification on the crab,  has not been fully studied. Not it has begun. The findings continue to build evidence that if we don’t get off our reliance on fossil fuels soon, we will likely see destruction of this valuable natural resource.

Millions of pounds of Dungeness crab are pulled from Pacific Northwest waters each year in a more than century-old ritual for commercial and recreational fishermen. But as ocean waters absorb more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, U.S. scientists are worried that the ocean’s changing chemistry may threaten the sweet-flavoured crustaceans. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are exposing tiny crab larvae to acidic seawater in laboratory experiments to understand how ocean acidification might affect one of the West Coast’s most lucrative fisheries. Research published this year found that Dungeness crab eggs and larvae collected from Puget Sound and exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide — which increases ocean acidity — grew more slowly and larvae were more likely to die than those in less corrosive seawater. Now researchers at NOAA’s Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center are taking the experiments a step further to study how the crabs respond to multiple stressors during various growth stages. They also plan to analyze the sublethal effects: Even if the crabs don’t die, are they affected in physiological or other ways by ocean acidification? (Associated Press)

Studies focus on acidic ocean impact on Dungeness crabs

Acidic Pacific: Act now, or West Coast pays dearly – Seattle PI.com

The PI gets it. It’s time to take radical action, by both the US and Canada, to slow this. Our fisheries are at stake.

Buildup of carbon dioxide is changing the chemistry of the world’s oceans, threatening coastal economies and ecosystems — nowhere more than on the Pacific Coast, according to an expert study released Monday. “Although ocean acidification is a global phenomenon, emerging research indicates that, among coastal areas around the world, the West Coast of North America will face some of the earliest, most severe changes in ocean carbon chemistry.” Those were the findings published in a report produced by a 20-member team of experts, several from the University of Washington, called the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel. It is blunt about human causes, and the urgency of action. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Ocean-acidification-Panel-says-act-now-or-it-7227841.php

Head of State Ecology Answers Prof. Cliff Mass on Ocean Acidification

As reported here in the last few weeks, UW Meteorologist Cliff Mass posted in his blog that recent court filings by the US EPA and State Department of Ecology were evidence that neither really thought that Ocean Acidification was a scientifically proven threat to the Salish Sea and our seafood industries. My criticism here on this blog was then used by him as a place to accuse me of personally attacking him for his views. (see comments in previous articles last week). This week, State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon stepped into the fray, publishing a scathing blog entry directly addressing his comments. I quote:

Department of Ecology take threats from ocean acidification very seriously. This is not a surprise to many, given our policy and science leadership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to understand and address ocean acidification. But local meteorologist Cliff Mass’s September 7 blog is causing some people to question just what our position is, and whether ocean acidification is real.

Let’s be clear. Ocean acidification is real. Determining the causes, impacts, and identifying potential solutions are high priorities for our agency and our state…

….Cliff Mass quoted a few sentences from legal documents that misled several blog readers to believe that Ecology and EPA have determined that acidification is not damaging oysters in Puget Sound or other local waters. He misinterpreted documents filed under litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

http://coenv.washington.edu/research/major-initiatives/ocean-acidification/oa-in-washingtons-waters-in-the-context-of-marine-water-quality/.

It is gratifying to say the least to see our top bureaucrat in charge of addressing this issue come forward and clearly lay out the issue to any reader in the State. Professor Mass has not yet chosen to respond to this blog post by Ms. Bellon.

Those of us who are involved in educating the public to serious (and sometimes difficult to comprehend) issues like ocean acidification are grateful to Ms. Bellon for stepping up and using her bully pulpit to call out the serious and urgent need for continued scientific work to figure out a solution to this issue, if a solution does in fact exist. There is far too much at stake to sit back and allow critics to derail these efforts without  answering them. It’s what true leadership is all about.

2013 NW Straits: Alexis Valauir -Ocean Acidification Effects on Global Communities

From the 2013 NW Straits Annual Conference, a most interesting talk:

Alexis Valauri-Orton recently completed a year-long Watson Fellowship investigating human narratives of ocean acidification in Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Peru. Over the year, she traded her lab coat for a pair of gum boots, experiencing firsthand the role marine resources play in coastal communities. Investigating narratives of acidification in such diverse communities, she discovered the importance of understanding and navigating the social structures that shape our vulnerabilities and responses to environmental issues. She holds a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Davidson College, in North Carolina, and now lives in her hometown of Seattle. She believes increasing scientific literacy and public awareness on issues like ocean acidification is the key to creating a sustainable future.

The Powerpoints of her talk are found at the NW Straits web site:

http://www.nwstraits.org/Whats-New/Meetings-Events/2013-MRC-Conference.aspx

or directly here (This downloads the presentation to your computer)

Click to access Valauri-Orton-OA.pdf

You can download this for use on a device like an ipod or iphone, or just listen to it right here on your computer.

 

 

Report from the Climate Change Front – State Senator Kevin Ranker at the NW Straits Conference

Washington State is in the forefront of the impacts of climate change around the world. In addition to actually feeling the effects, in alarming problems emerging in our waters that are impacting shellfish, we have a state legislature and governor that have demanded and funded serious scientific study along with  a feedback loop to the lawmakers from the Governor’s directives, as well as State law.

It is difficult to collate all the scientific efforts of this funding into a neat package, but once or twice a year, we get a window into that work. The Northwest Straits Initiative, which for over 15 years has brought together scientists, business interests, tribes  and volunteer citizens, holds their annual conference.  These people belong to the Marine Resource Committees  (MRCs) of seven counties, from Snohomish to the Canadian border, and west through the Strait of Juan de Fuca (along with non-NW Straits Initiative managed counties along the Coast). The MRC  representatives  come together to share the stories of their work, and hear a unified program of science efforts that support or influence that work.

This year, the conference attendees, were treated to an update on many of the various climate change issues that they face. As part of our coverage of this important conference, and because the NW Straits does not have the financial capabilities to hold a large public forum, we  at the Olympic Peninsula Environmental News present a series of presentations to you over the next few weeks, to allow the general public to hear what was told to the attendees. Given that the attendees are mainly volunteers (there are a few part time staff members in each jurisdiction to help in project management and grant writing), and come forward from the local communities, for those who are interested in volunteering, or cannot afford the time and money to attend the conference, we will post audio of all the presentations we were able to cover, which was all but two, and in addition, as time allows, we will also post the powerpoint presentations of those speakers who used it.

Washington State Senator Kevin leads off the presentations. Hailing from  San Juan County,  Senator Ranker has been instrumental in providing support with funding and legislation to scientific research and policy guidance on ocean acidification (OA). OA research is a critical to fund, as the effects of the increased acidification, in even small degrees, appears to have serious outcomes on shellfish, which provides over $270 million dollars a year (2010 number), and over 3200 direct jobs, most of them in rural and lower income communities around the Sea.  These jobs also support the wider communities they live in with indirect jobs, in supporting industries.

Senator Ranker’s presentation can be found at the following link. You can listen to it right here, or download it for later listening on any MP3 player, or your tablet or PC. The presentation is 38 minutes long, and Senator Ranker’s slides will likely be available later. It is our opinion that not immediately having his slides will not detract from his message. The Senator is a very humorous and off the cuff speaker.

If you wish to attend any of the monthly MRC meetings in your area, check their local web sites. All meetings are open to the public and are advertised in advance. You can also support the work of the NW Straits Initiative, by donating to the NW Straits Foundation. Their web site is http://www.nwstraits.org and http://www.nwstraits.org/Foundation/About.aspx.

Environmentalists sue EPA over ocean acidification – Bellingham Herald

Not sure this will make any difference, but likely gets their attention.  Would like to talk to someone from the Center for Biological Diversity to understand what they hope to achieve.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday over the threat it says ocean acidification poses to oysters and other sea life off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. It’s the second time in four years the environmental nonprofit has sued the EPA over ocean acidification. The previous lawsuit filed in 2009 was settled out of court in 2010 after the EPA agreed that ocean acidification should be addressed through the federal Clean Water Act. Donna Gordon Blankenship reports.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/10/16/3262396/environmentalists-sue-epa-over.html

 

Legislature approves several Puget Sound priority bills

The fact that what did get put forward in the legislature this year did get passed is good news. Other bills that were important died in committee, some with very little help from even their sponsors (such as the bill allowing the banning of net pens that was sponsored by Representative Kevin Van De Wege and lightly supported by him). However, the rubber will meet the road in Olympia, this week and next, as the budget tries to get through. All these bills’ funding is stalled in the Senate, which, with a small Republican majority, is blocking a final budget. If you are so inclined, call your Representatives and Senator and tell them to get this done.  Kudos to NGO’s such as Washington Environmental Coalition, Puget Soundkeepers, Audubon, and companies such as Taylor Shellfish, who have stepped into a leadership role fighting Ocean Acidification, along with  many others who championed these bills.
———————————————————————————–
Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law all of the Puget Sound priority bills. Most recently, partners celebrated the signing of bills that prevent derelict vessels (ESHB 1245), prevent aquatic invasive species (SB 5702), strengthen the management of our coastal resources and protect Washington waters from the effects of ocean acidification (SB 5603). Attention remains on the budget, where little progress is visible toward bridging the significant impasse between the House and Senate.

Sediment Health in Central Puget Sound Declining Over 10 years

The Department of Ecology (DOE) has just released a report showing that the health of Central Puget Sound sediment is declining over the last 10 years. The life that lives in the sediment, called Benthic invertebrates, have declined dramatically. This goes along with increasing ocean acidification that has been seen in Puget Sound and Hood Canal. These is not good news.

The good news can be seen in that  that lead, mercury and the ingredient in fire retardant has decreased in the sediment.

But the bad news is that “Ecology has observed similar declines in benthic invertebrate health in other regions and bays throughout Puget Sound, including the Strait of Georgia, Hood Canal, Elliott Bay, Commencement Bay, and Bainbridge Basin. Poor sediment health also has been observed in Bellingham Bay, Budd Inlet, the Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the San Juan Islands.”

We’re hoping that given these results that Ecology won’t wait another 10 years to test.  To be clear, one of the key issues that the Puget Sound Partnership found in their prioritization of issues that has taken them a number of years to collect, is that monitoring has been lacking in key areas. It’s gratifying to see that monitoring appears to be getting done at long last.

___________________________________________________________________________

Washington State Department of Ecology – June 4, 2013

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Sediment health in Central Puget Sound declining

OLYMPIA – Sediments in the bottom of Central Puget Sound show declining environmental health over a 10-year period, according to a just-released report from the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).

Central Puget Sound is the area south of Whidbey Island to the Tacoma Narrows. It includes industrialized and urbanized Elliott and Commencement bays, Sinclair Inlet and Bainbridge Basin.

“The overall decline in sediment health is important because it is an indicator of the health of Puget Sound,” said Valerie Partridge, Ecology’s lead author for the report.

 

The report, “Sediment Quality in Central Puget Sound, Changes Over a Ten-Year Period,” compared sediment samples the state program collected in 2008 and 2009 to samples it collected in 1998 and 1999.

 

The comparison found the decline in health of sediment-dwelling life – known as benthic invertebrates – had spread to 28 percent of the region, up from 7 percent.

 

Benthic invertebrates are a key part of the marine food web.

The decline could not be attributed to any significant chemical contamination that Ecology measured. The major driving factor contributing to the decline in sediment health was the change in the number and types of benthic invertebrates, including a shift to more pollution-tolerant species.

 

Ecology also found an increase in low-level toxicity in the sediments over a wider area compared with previous testing in Central Puget Sound.

The study also turned up good news. Central Sound sediments showed a decrease in concentrations of lead, mercury, silver, tin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. It also found that more samples are meeting state sediment quality standards in the heavily industrialized areas of Elliott and Commencement bays. These trends suggest positive results from collective cleanups and pollution prevention efforts in those areas.

Ecology scientists are not sure why the negative changes are taking place.

 

Maggie Dutch, lead scientist for Ecology’s Puget Sound Sediment Monitoring Program said: “The sediment monitoring program was established to measure levels of toxic chemicals throughout Puget Sound, and to determine their effects on benthic invertebrate communities. While we have seen improvements in the condition of these communities in urban areas that have undergone cleanup of toxics, we are also seeing unexpected declines in community condition where toxic chemicals we measure were not detected.Other human and natural factors in Puget Sound could be a cause.”

Dutch said some of the factors that may influence the health of the organisms in the sediments include:

  • Changes in food resources that sink through the water and reach the bottom sediments.
  • Changes in dissolved oxygen, pH, and levels of ammonia and sulfides in the water above and within the sediments.
  • Natural population cycles of sediment-dwelling organisms that may be influenced by oceanic cycles.
  • Sediment movement and burial.
  • Unmeasured contaminants, including contaminants of emerging concern, contaminant mixtures, and contaminants that may sicken but not kill marine life.

Dutch said, “While we did not measure these other factors, we will link our data to other projects that may have this information to help us map out causes.”

 

The state’s regional sediment monitoring is part of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP). The program is a collaboration of state, federal, tribal, local government, non-governmental, watershed, business, private and volunteer groups dedicated to monitoring the environmental conditions of Puget Sound.

 

Ken Dzinbal, PSEMP lead for the Puget Sound Partnership, said: “Marine monitoring is important because you can’t fix what you don’t measure. Monitoring tells us if Puget Sound is getting better or if it’s getting worse.”

“We are seeing trends. We have ideas about the causes of problems. Our monitoring helps tell us if we are testing the right things and helps us identify solutions to pollution problems,” Dzinbal said.

 

Scientists have developed several ecological indicators to track the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem and how it changes over time. Ecology’s sediment science has been adopted by the Puget Sound Partnership as Vital Signs Dashboard Indicators.

While the Central Sound findings are for the region as a whole, Ecology’s marine monitoring program has separate surveys and separate reports for Elliott Bay, Commencement Bay and the Bainbridge Basin (including Sinclair Inlet). The stories of the bays are different from the story of the region as a whole.

 

Ecology has observed similar declines in benthic invertebrate health in other regions and bays throughout Puget Sound, including the Strait of Georgia, Hood Canal, Elliott Bay, Commencement Bay, and Bainbridge Basin. Poor sediment health also has been observed in Bellingham Bay, Budd Inlet, the Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the San Juan Islands.

Ecology is conducting follow-up sediment sampling in Elliott Bay. Sediment monitoring of urban bays is part of Ecology’s Urban Waters Initiative, which began in 2007.

 

Ecology’s data and documentation can be found on Ecology’s marine sediment monitoring website.

###

Media contact

Sandy Howard, Ecology media relations, 360-407-6408 (desk); 360-791-3177 (cell); Sandy.Howard@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

 

Marine sediment monitoring photos on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecologywa/sets/72157633790434413/)

Department of Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/eap/index.html)

Puget Sound Partnership as Vital Signs Dashboard Indicators (http://www.psp.wa.gov/vitalsigns/)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)

Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.html.

 

Shipping Emissions ‘Rival CO2-Driven Ocean Acidification’- EEM News

The findings of issues with shipping pollution are sort of an expected outcome. The good news is that things are already changing for the better with new regs due to take affect soon.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/05/17/shipping-emissions-rival-co2-driven-ocean-acidification/

Ocean Acidification Panel Discussion at NW Straits Annual Meeting

A panel discussion on ocean acidification kicked off the 2012 NorthWest Straits Annual MRC conference on Friday. Speakers Brad Warren of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish, Representative Norma Smith of the 10th District, and Jeff Watters of the Ocean Conservancy all discussed their points of view on ocean acidification. We are both cursed and blessed by being on the forefront of this issue, and these are people doing a lot of research and investigation into the problems it poses for us. Download or listen on line. The final 5th broadcast has some problems in not having a mic for the first two questions, and not restating them, but I think you’ll figure out the questions from the answers.

UPDATE: I’ve had some folks mention that the sound levels even at maximum, are too low. While it appears to be happening mainly on Macintosh computers, I’ll be updating these with slightly higher volumes in the next day or so.

2012 NW Straits Brad Warren on Ocean Acidification 1 of 5

2012 NW Straits Annnual Meeting – Bill Dewey on Ocean Acidification 2 of 5

2012 Nw Straits- Representative Norma Smith on Ocean Acidification – 3 of 5

2012 NW Straits Jeff Waters – 4 of 5

2012 NW Straits Annual Meeting Part 5 of 5 – Ocean Acidification Panel Q&A

This content first appeared on the Olympic Peninsula Environmental News.

Ocean Acidification issues documented by scientists

One way to measure the urgency of the scientific response to ocean acidification is by its carbon footprint. In 2004, 125 marine scientists gathered in a single room in Paris to ponder the effects that surging loads of human-generated carbon dioxide into the atmosphere might have on the sea below. They heard 24 research presentations, nearly the sum total of papers published on the subject worldwide that year. Four years later, 227 researchers gathered in Monaco for the second installment, with 44 presentations. Two weeks ago, 542 racked up the air miles to get to Monterey, California for the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World. Eric Scigliano reports. 

Science faces the fate of the sea http://crosscut.com/2012/10/09/environment/110889/science-faces-fate-sea/ 

At home: Ocean use planning, acidification subjects of Oct. 10 public meeting http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/336.html

Washington Shellfish At Risk–Crosscut

Last Friday, a State panel met to  come up with  a range of recommendations to the Governor about Ocean Acidification. Here’s the report on their meeting, brought to us by Crosscut. They currently need support, so if you like what you read, think of donating something, anything.

John Stang reports.

http://crosscut.com/2012/07/24/puget-sound/109707/ocean-acidification-ruckelshaus-salish-puget-sound/

Pacific Ocean acid levels jeopardizing marine life–CBC

Interviews with researchers presented on the Canadian Broadcasting Channel highlights that the ocean is growing acidic faster than anyone thought.  No new science is actually presented, but the existing science is highlighted for a lay audience.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/07/16/bc-ocean-acidification.html

Blue Ribbon panel warns about dangers of ocean acidification–KPLU

Carbon emissions are threatening Washington’s shellfish industry. That’s the concern of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, which meets today in Seattle.

It was created after shellfish hatcheries noticed a correlation between declining PH values in Hood Canal and dying oyster larvae.

Carbon pollution, absorbed by the ocean, interferes with their ability to form shells.

Bill Dewey, with Taylor shellfish farms, says it’s been seven years now since Willapa Bay oysters have hatched naturally.

Listen to the whole story at:

http://www.kplu.org/post/blue-ribbon-panel-warns-about-dangers-ocean-acidification

Superb video on local ocean acidification

Check out this 9 minute video from Oregon Public Broadcasting on the effects of ocean acidification on shellfish and animals at Tatoosh and the Oregon coast. A very good narrative of what’s happening to us right in our backyard of Tatoosh, and Hood Canal for that matter.

http://ecotrope.opb.org/2010/10/video-what-makes-oyster-larvae-unhappy/

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