West Coast Ocean Acidification Rates Among Highest In World – KUOW

These findings spell bad news for our shellfish industry as well as our fisheries. It appears we are ground zero for ocean acidification and we have a administration in Washington D.C. that ignores any science that doesn’t fit it’s narrative. It’s all up to us folks. Thankfully we have a governor and representatives  in Olympia that still do believe in science.

The United States is stepping away from the Paris Climate Agreement, but the consequences of climate change will be more difficult to leave behind. Take ocean acidification, a major emerging threat to West Coast fisheries.

Researchers at Oregon State University have recorded some of the highest levels of ocean acidification in the world – and they exist right off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.tinyurl.com/y7sjphuy

Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries’ failures – phsy.org

More news on the science coming in that definitively is pointing to Ocean Acidification being the culprit in hatchery mortality rates here.

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters have been questioned as being severe enough to cause the die-offs. Now, a new study of Pacific oyster and Mediterranean mussel larvae found that the earliest larval stages are sensitive to saturation state, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) or pH (acidity) per se. Saturation state is a measure of how corrosive seawater is to the calcium carbonate shells made by bivalve larvae, and how easy it is for larvae to produce their shells. A lower saturation rate is associated with more corrosive seawater. Cheryl Dybas reports. (PHYS.ORG)

http://phys.org/news/2014-12-ocean-acidification-culprit-commercial-shellfish.html

And this article follows on it.

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-tool-west-coast-ocean-acidification.html#inlRlv

For those wanting to understand the science behind “saturation state” you can find the definition down this page. Just “find” saturation state when you get to it. The formula is there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

Cliff Mass and hot air – opinion

Last week, regional meteorologist Professor Cliff Mass, called into question the reality of ocean acidification, along with restating his claims that climate change is nothing to worry about anytime soon.

As to his analysis that ocean acidification doesn’t effect us here because of the court filings of the EPA I can confidently state that no one that I’ve contacted that he points to agrees with his conclusions. His misreading of the lawsuit by the Natural Resource Defense Council, and counter suit filings by the State and EPA, is twisting of facts to suit his arguement. He goes on to make points that the whole thing is only being used as a fundraising tool by environmental and grant funding tool by shellfish companies.

My contacts at Taylor Shellfish clearly stated he misinterpreted anything that they told him. They believe Ocean Acidification is real, and a threat to their very business. As to root causes of it, and possible solutions, no one yet has definitive answers, but a lot of people are looking at what those might be. As science should. The suit by the NRDC is stating that they already know enough to take action, while the US EPA and State EPA claim otherwise. To draw the conclusion that they don’t believe it exists from these court filings is absurd.

There has been a poster on the web recently, stating, “If 97% of structural engineers told you that a specific bridge was going to collapse if you drove your car over it, would you trust your life and the lives of your children to the other 3%?”  And the water planners in California, and homeless “climate refugees” in the Methow here in Washington, who have been wiped out by a fire the likes of which has never been seen in the generations that Europeans have been living there, can probably attest, that something is happening here that is outside the box of normal environmental scenarios. 97% of the scientists who study these things call it Climate Change. And they are in agreement over the root cause. It’s man made.

The NOAA web site for Ocean Acidification can be found on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/NoaaOceanAcidificationProgram

And the web site if you aren’t allowing yourself to be monitored for targeted advertising on Facebook.

Here’s the science standing in stark contrast to the outlier, Professor Mass.

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

climate change

A short film about the shellfish industry

This is about us, now. The impact of ocean acidification on our shellfish industry. Today. A great short film by students at the University of Oregon. Watch it.

This piece explores the effects of ocean acidification because of pollution from CO2 from the point of view of Oregon’s oyster farmers. The state of our ocean’s water quality is changing at a rate that can not be ignored.

 

As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump – NY Times

Billions of baby oysters in the Pacific inlets here are dying and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is busy spreading the bad news…. The Democratic governor, aided by what is expected to be millions of dollars from his billionaire friend Tom Steyer, is using the story of Washington’s oysters — scientists say a rise in carbon levels has spiked the acidity of the Pacific and is killing off shellfish — to make the case for passing the most far-reaching climate change policies in the nation. Coral Davenportaug reports. (NY Times)

Read the rest of the story here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us/as-oysters-die-climate-policy-goes-on-stump.html

10 million scallops are dead; Qualicum company lays off staff – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

This in from just over the border. What I understand about scallops is that they are the hardest shellfish to grow, and recent attempts to re-establish them in US Puget Sound waters have been unsuccessful (to commercially viable sizes). Maybe this is why.

High acid levels in the waters around Parksville Qualicum Beach have killed 10 million scallops and forced a local shellfish producer to scale operations back considerably.

Island Scallops CEO Rob Saunders said the company has lost three years worth of scallops and $10 million.

“I’m not sure we are going to stay alive and I’m not sure the oyster industry is going to stay alive,” Saunders told The NEWS. “It’s that dramatic.”

2013 NW Straits Conference Overview

Just got back from a great two days at the NW Straits conference, held in Bellingham. The good folks that steer our Marine Resource Committees always put together a  conference worth attending, and the only unfortunate thing is that they can’t invite the world at large.

Pictured below, Caroline Gibson and Sasha Horst from the NW Straits Commission greet attendees, while Jefferson County Commissioner and ex-fisherman, Phil Johnson discusses net pens.

2013 NW Straits Collage

This year, Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker and Dr. Terrie Klinger started off by giving an update to the state of the science and legislative activity around  Ocean Acidification.  Washington State is at the forefront of global science on this emerging issue, and the Governor has taken the step to create a commission to look into it and get some actions going on this.

Funding for research and data collection is underway, and we were told that funding for educational activities is not,and pressure needs to be exerted to get this to the schools as new curriculum.

Hugh Shipman of the Washington State Department of Ecology spoke on Sea Level Rise in the Puget Sound basin, and Tina Whitman of Friends of the San Juans along with Andrea MacLennon of the Coastal Geographic Services brought people up to speed on how the scientists and policy makers are measuring and planning for sea level rise in San Juan County.

Kathleen Herrmann of the Snohomish County MRC gave a very interesting talk on a new method for gaining public acceptance of MRC goals, using Collective Impact, which is a model framework applied here for marine conservation. Kathleen has done a great job of researching this and applying it to their issues.

Will Stelle, who is the west coast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries, closed out day one, with a really entertaining overview of the issues facing the west coast. I would have to say that this overview should be mandatory for all of us trying to get a good overview of the state of affairs right now. It’s a huge span of work. Will presents it with humor and passion.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson was the after dinner speaker, giving an overview on his new book, Feathers. Thor’s enthusiasm for his work is quite funny and, yes, I bought the book.

On day two: there was tracks on Tools for Promoting Ocean Acidification (O.A.) Literacy, and in another room, an overview of Nearshore Habitat Restoration: From Idea to Reality, Advice from Local Experts. In the O.A.literacy program, Alexis Valauri-Orton, the Thomas J. Watson Fellow presented a really interesting look at her recent research work in talking to various cultures around the world being affected by O.A. Paul Williams of the Suquamish Tribe updated us on their efforts to teach the issue, and Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant also presented.

After lunch, in addition to an overview of evaluating metrics and outreach projects, Dan Tonnes and Helen Berry gave great insight into Rockfish recovery efforts and Kelp monitoring and management in Puget Sound.

Will Stelle – NOAA West Coast Fisheries Administrator on Fisheries and Furloughs – 45 minutes long. Download the audio file and listen.  http://sdrv.ms/17Z2Kzi

All these presentations will be put up in both audio and video formats for download within the next week.  Check back for the links to them. 

Expert: critique of Seattle Times “Sea Change” project ignores the science

Cliff Mass has long been suspect as a climate change denier, often saying that there is not enough proof to make suggestions that global warming is affecting us locally. His recent blog post has gotten wide spread reading as he is considered very thoughtful in his pronouncements. Last week he published a story that said that he didn’t believe that ocean acidification was causing problems with the shellfish here in the Sound and along the coast, both of which active investigations by shellfish growers here in the State. Now, Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch takes Mass to task for his recent post.

Let’s be clear, as stated in the article: “Mass is not a chemical oceanographer, but he is a scientist with some familiarity with these issues.”

Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch, author of the series “Sea Change,” rebuts Cliff Mass’s critique of the series. “Ocean acidification actually is to blame for current problems with Northwest oysters. And that fact is supported by strong evidence. Suggesting otherwise is a misreading of the science. Readers need not take our word for it.”

<a href="http://blogs.seattletimes.com/seachange/2013/10/12/expert-critique-of-seattle-times-sea-change-project-ignores-the-science/“>

Cantwell Grills NOAA Nominee on Ocean Acidification Funding – KPLU

Ocean health is at stake as Congress decides whether to confirm the next head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The nominee faced tough questions from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, about funding for research of and adaptation to ocean acidification…. In the confirmation hearing, Senator Cantwell grilled the nominee, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, about proposed cuts to a monitoring program. Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

http://kplu.org/post/cantwell-grills-noaa-nominee-ocean-acidification-funding http://kplu.org/post/cantwell-grills-noaa-nominee-ocean-acidification-funding

Rapid Adaptation Is Purple Sea Urchins’ Weapon Against Ocean Acidification – Science Daily

We can only hope they can pass this trait on really fast.

In the race against climate change and ocean acidification, some sea urchins may still have a few tricks up their spiny sleeves, suggesting that adaptation will likely play a large role for the sea creatures as the carbon content of the ocean increases. The purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, has the ability to pass the trait for higher carbon dioxide tolerance to its offspring.   Read the whole story at:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612184040.htm

Event:”Ocean acidification in WA State” June 15th in Port Townsend

“Ocean acidification in WA State: An exploration of its chemical, biological, and societal impacts”
PTMSC presents this lecture by NOAA Research Ecologist Shallin Busch. Busch helped develop NOAA’s Northwest Center state-of-the-art lab for studying the impacts of ocean acidification, hypoxia, and temperature change on coastal marine organisms. She conducts experiments on economically and ecologically important species and uses this research to explore potential impacts of ocean acidification on entire food webs and fisheries. In 2012, Busch served as a member of the WA State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. The lecture is this Saturday, June 15th at 4pm in the Fort Worden State Park JFK Building.  No park pass necessary (note: PTMSC is paying in advance so audience doesn’t have to buy a pass, but if you already have one, please bring and display it on your dash). Admission is $7 adults/$5 adult members/$3 youth/$2 youth members

State climate consultant hired to shrink greenhouse gases- News Tribune

It appears that the newly signed bill to get data that can be acted on for ocean acidification is progressing about as fast as the government can move. The question is whether it can be funded. Apparently there has been no agreement by the State House to fund this bill. Shellfish growers are very concerned about the lack of interest in funding it by Republicans, as their industry will be the first to die from acidification.

A legislative workgroup chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a Virginia-based climate consultant to examine Washington state’s options for reducing greenhouse gases that are contributing to global climate change.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/06/05/2626915/state-climate-consultant-hired.html

Why UW scientists are speeding up ocean acidification – KUOW

A team of scientists in Friday Harbor is providing a window into the future of the ocean. Martha Baskin reports.
http://crosscut.com/2013/05/14/environment/114284/baskin-window-ocean-acidification-and-phytoplankto/

Panel: Ocean acidification threatening sea life here – PDN

Acidification of the world’s oceans could have a profound effect on the North Olympic Peninsula, a panel of experts told Clallam County commissioners Monday. Caused by carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, ocean acidification can destroy shells of crabs, clams, oysters and scores of creatures at the bottom of the food chain. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and outer coast of Washington are particularly vulnerable because acidic water is upwelled off the coast every spring and summer.

Rob Ollikainen reports. Panel: Ocean acidification threatening sea life here at the PDN.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130416/NEWS/304169990/panel-ocean-acidification-threatening-sea-life-here

Monday April 15- Ocean Acidification Forum

Clallam MRC will sponsor a community forum on Ocean Acidification (OA) April 15 from 6-8 pm at the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 7th Street in Port Angeles. Members of Washington State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification will highlight effects of and local solutions to an acidifying ocean.

Ocean acidification can have a profound effect on the state economy and quality of life: effects of OA were apparent to shellfish growers between 2007 and 2009, when oyster larvae succumbed to the more corrosive water. Details may be found in the press release.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION COMMUNITY FORUM SET FOR PORT ANGELES
PORT ANGELES — Ocean acidification, its effects and local solutions will be
highlighted at a community forum featuring speakers from the Washington State Blue
Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. North Olympic Peninsula residents and others are
invited to attend the community forum, April 15 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Port Angeles
Senior Center, 328 East 7th Street, Port Angeles. Clallam County Commissioner Mike
Doherty will welcome the panel and attendees.

Between 2007 and 2009, up to 80 percent of the oyster larvae in some Washington
state hatcheries were killed by ocean acidification. As the nation’s leading supplier of
farmed shellfish, and with 42,000 jobs dependent on seafood, Washington has much to
lose from the effects of an acidifying ocean.

Ocean Acidification, also known as OA, results primarily from CO2 emissions being
absorbed from the atmosphere into seawater. The new mixture forms carbonic acid,
which alters ocean chemistry, reduces the chemical building blocks needed by many
marine species and endangers sea life.

The community forum, hosted by the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee
(MRC), will feature three speakers. Eric Swenson, Communications and Outreach
Director for the Global Ocean Health Program, will explain “The Science of Ocean
Acidification;” Betsy Peabody, founder of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, will
describe “Local Impacts, Local Solutions” and Brad Warren, Director for the Global
Ocean Health Program, will summarize the panel’s work and present
“Recommendations, Partnerships and Actions.” Peabody and Warren served as
members of Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. Swenson was
an alternate member.

Clallam County MRC member Ed Bowlby, who also coordinates research for the
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary said, “We have to build consensus to reduce
the global emissions of CO2. When possible, we also need to act locally to mitigate,
remediate, or adapt to acidification. We can start by minimizing land-based contributions
within the watershed. Stormwater runoff, for instance, can contribute to ocean
acidification at the local scale.”

To address the threat of increasingly corrosive marine waters, former Governor
Christine Gregoire appointed the 28-member Panel on Ocean Acidification in February
2012. Co-chaired by Bill Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency, and Jay Manning, former director of the Washington Department of
Ecology, the panel presented its findings and 42 recommendations November 27 in
Seattle. (Learn more at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oceanacidification.html.)
In addition to the Clallam County MRC, the event is sponsored by the Northwest Straits
Commission, Puget Sound Partnership, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, National
Fisheries Conservation Center and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

Tatoosh Island used as research lab into ocean acidification

NY Times article today about the research being done at Tatoosh on the affects of ocean acidification and global warming on our sea life. Not good news here folks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/us/scientists-in-washington-state-adopt-tiny-island-as-climate-change-bellwether.html

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