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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Acidity in oceans: Bad trip for Washington’s economy

Acidity in oceans: Bad trip for Washington’s economy

Seattle Pi

The buildup of acid levels in oceans, a consequence of human-caused climate change, threatens to eat away at an important corner of Washington’s economy, according to the report of a state blue-ribbon panel on ocean acidification released on Tuesday. 

“Our state should care about this because contact with corrosive water directly effects our shellfish industry . . . We simply cannot sit idly by when this happens,” said William Ruckelshaus, former U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator and co-chair of the panel. 

Shellfish aquaculture is a $270 million business and directly and indirectly employs 3,000 people in the Evergreen State. Annual sales of farmed shellfish from Washington make up 85 percent of U.S. West Coast sales (including Alaska).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Sea changes harming ocean now could someday undermine marine food chain

Sea changes harming ocean now could someday undermine marine food chain

BY: CRAIG WELCH, The Seattle Times

Scientists years ago figured out that a group of tiny snail-like sea creatures crucial to marine food webs may one day be an early victim of changing ocean chemistry. 

Researchers predicted that pteropods, shelled animals known as sea butterflies, could begin dissolving by 2038 as human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions begin souring the seas in a process known as ocean acidification.

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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