In the summer of 2013 NOAA conducted an in-depth ocean acidification investigation along the U.S. West Coast! Sailing from Seattle, WA to Moss Landing, CA, chemists and biologists on board NOAA Ship Fairweather sampled and analyzed water, alga and plankton in an effort to better understand how the marine ecosystem is responding to corrosive effects caused by changing ocean chemistry.
Acidification, which is driven by increases in human-caused fossil fuel burning, is particularly threatening West Coast waters given the region’s unique hydrology and large biological communities. Data from this cruise may help America's fishing industry and state and local officials can plan, prepare and protect its commercially-valuable ecosystems.
Artist David Eisenhour’s recent sculptures are inspired by science; now tiny organisms usually only viewed through the eyes of a scientist at a microscope can be seen by those who visit the Simon Mace Gallery in Port Townsend, WA. Eisenhour’s new exhibit “Dissolution-Dissillusion” is an interpretation of our changing oceans. One of his organisms of focus is the pteropod, a tiny marine snail, whose thin shell has been shown to dissolve as a result of ocean acidification. This tiny snail is important to the marine ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest as it is a staple in the diet of pink salmon, red herring and mackerel. NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory scientist, Dr. Nina Bednarsek, shared scanning electron microscope images with the artist to help him create beautiful bronze sculptures of pteropods and other marine creatures in a changing environment.
Eisenhour’s exhibit “Dissolution-Disillusion” will be open August 3rd and be on display through September 2nd at the Simon Mace Gallery in Port Townsend, WA.