MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES 

Management strategies use information provided by research and tools that can be used to make sound decisions to effectively conserve marine resources.  Baseline research about organism and community sensitivity to ocean acidification is incorporated into these strategies, in an effort to sustain these resources for the future.

Research

Before management plans can be created it is necessary to have baseline research about the effects of ocean acidification on marine resources, such as Pacific oysters, dungeness crabs and rockfish. The OAP funds NOAA Fisheries Science Centers to expose various life stages of valuable species to present and future acidification conditions. The results of this research have already been considered in management of vulnerable king crab species.  In addition, research is underway to establish baseline measures of chemistry surrounding coral reefs that can be used to evaluate the potential risk of changing ocean chemistry to these valuable ecosystems.   

Management Tools

After models are created that provide a look into the future, these models can be used to create tools for managers to use so that they can test different scenarios on species’ populations and habitats.  Modeling efforts led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are now being used to produce one of these tools for Atlantic sea scallop fisheries. The dashboard will allow managers to test the impacts of different management actions on scallop populations.  In the Pacific Northwest, NOAA, the University of Washington, and shellfish industry scientists have formed a strong partnership to adapt to ocean acidification impacts that have already affected the shellfish industry. Together these researchers determined that acidification was threatening oyster production and offered an approach to address it. They installed equipment to monitor carbon chemistry at shellfish hatcheries and worked with hatchery managers to develop methods that protect developing oyster larvae from exposure to low pH waters.   Early warning tools are now being used to forecast seasonal acidification conditions to enable shellfish growers to adapt their practices.

 

STORIES OF ADAPTATION

State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification

State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification

BY: CRAIG WELCH, The Seattle Times

To combat ocean acidification in Washington, the state needs to better track the changing chemistry of Puget Sound, reduce stormwater runoff and nutrient pollution that worsen the problem, and counteract souring waters by sprinkling shells in estuaries or growing more carbon-gobbling vegetation. 

But above all, the state must advocate for regional, national and international policies to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, according to authors of a first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday about the changing chemistry of Washington's marine waters.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington is first state to tackle ocean acidification

Washington is first state to tackle ocean acidification

BY: KENNETH R. WEISS, The Los Angeles Times

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday ordered state agencies to take initial steps to combat ocean acidification, making it the first state to address problematic changes in ocean chemistry that threaten shellfish farms, wild-caught fish and other marine life. Gregoire signed the executive order based on the recommendation of a blue ribbon panel of experts that pointed out how increasingly acidified waters pose a direct threat to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry. “A healthy ocean is critical to our health and our coastal economies,” Gregoire said in a statement. “We have learned that human caused emissions of carbon dioxide are dramatically altering the ocean’s chemistry at an alarming rate… Ocean acidification is yet another reason to quickly and significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide across the planet.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington State Targets Pollutants that Lead to Ocean Acidification

Washington State Targets Pollutants that Lead to Ocean Acidification

BY: DAVID MALAKOFF, Science

In the first state-level action of its kind, the governor of Washington today announced that her state will try to protect valuable shellfish industries and marine life from ocean acidification. Responding to a report that she requested, Governor Chris Gregoire said she has directed state agencies to take steps to reduce the pollutants that contribute to acidification. She also plans to ask the state legislature to establish a new acidification research center at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Gregoire orders action on ocean acidification

BY: ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- Rising acidity levels in the oceans pose a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life, and tackling that problem in Washington state will require reducing carbon dioxide emissions, keeping polluted runoff out of marine waters, and increasing monitoring at hatcheries, a group of experts recommended Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington state confronts ocean acidification

Washington state confronts ocean acidification

BY: JULIET EILPERIN, The Washington Post

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) ordered state agencies on Tuesday to take steps to address the ocean’s increasing acidity, making it the first state to adopt a policy to take on what scientists describe as a growing environmental concern.

Ocean acidification poses a threat to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry, as well as to critical habitat off its shores.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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