Vulnerability of oyster aquaculture and restoration to ocean acidification and other co-stressors in the Chesapeake Bay

Marjy Freidrichs (Virginia Institute of Marine Science ), Emily Rivest (Virginia Institute of Marine Science ), David Wrathall (Oregon State University)

Coastal acidification and its associated co-stressors present a serious and credible threat to the success of both oyster aquaculture and restoration in the Chesapeake Bay. Recent research provides a clearer understanding of the physiological sensitivity of different economically and culturally valuable shellfish species to ocean acidification (OA), but we still lack a basic understanding of how vulnerability differs across the range of shellfish-reliant stakeholders, specifically participants in oyster aquaculture, the growers, watermen and coastal restoration managers. This basic knowledge gap motivates this work, which aims to: (1) assess the vulnerability of the oyster aquaculture industry and oyster restoration to OA and other co-stressors, and (2) produce the information required by regional communities to aid in adaptation to these stressors. In achieving these goals, we will better understand which shellfish stakeholders will be able to successfully adapt, which will seek alternative livelihoods, and what specifically causes the difference between these two disparate outcomes.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Assessing Community Vulnerability to Ocean Acidification Across the California Current Ecosystem

Ana K. Spalding (Oregon State University), Arielle Levine (San Diego State University), Tessa Hill (University of California Davis), Lida Teneva (Ocean Science Trust)

West Coast stakeholders, including fishers and shellfish farmers reliant on key economically and culturally important species, have already experienced adverse consequences of ocean acidification (OA and other stressors. However, the human dimension of vulnerability and people’s capacity to adapt, particularly in highly resource-dependent economies, remains understudied. In times of changing ocean conditions, high levels of dependence on natural resources expose certain coastal communities to higher risks and vulnerability. Achieving healthy ocean ecosystems and coastal economies in state and federal waters requires cross-disciplinary work to understand what factors (environmental, economic, social, cultural) determine the vulnerability of coastal communities to environmental change, as well as the potential for developing strategies to adapt to these changes. People’s adaptive capacity in the face of environmental disturbance depends on community knowledge, networks, and practices, as well as institutional policies and strategies that support adaptation. This project will assess how 6 coastal communities in Oregon and California are experiencing environmental vulnerability to OA and what they are doing to adapt to OA and associated impacts; as well as evaluate barriers to and key factors for coping in different contexts that can help inform policies to foster and support more resilient communities.The overarching goals of this project are to fill knowledge gaps about the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of coastal communities to OA and other environmental stressors in order to a)support thriving and resilient coastal communities along the U.S. West Coast and b) to support OA policy and decision-making at the state level of governance.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Assessing vulnerability of the Atlantic Sea Scallop social-ecological system in the northeast waters of the US

Samantha Seidlecki (University of Connecticut), Lisa Colburn (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Shannon Meseck (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center)

Of the fisheries made up of calcifiers in the Northeast United States, the Atlantic sea scallop fishery is worth more than $500 million per year, is the second highest fisheries revenue in the United States, and the largest wild scallop fishery in the world. The vulnerability and resilience of fishing communities to the effects of warming and Ocean Acidification (OA) on Northeast species is dependent on their adaptive capacity in relation to both social and environmental exposure and sensitivity factors. Communities that harvest a diversity of species may adapt more easily than communities that specialize in one or a few species. The regional contribution of sea scallop to total regional landed value has steadily increased over recent decades as has fishing community dependence on it as a source of revenue. Prior work projecting impacts to scallops in the region found that sea scallop biomass may decline by more than 50% by the end of the century with a large impact on the fishery (Cooley et al. 2015; Rheuban et al. 2018), but new tools and lab results are available for this proposed work that may alter this assessment. The team is working the hypothesis that a spatially- explicit regional projection of changes relative to sea scallop fishing zones can inform fishery management and allow communities that rely on Atlantic sea scallops to plan and become more resilient to future change. This work will develop a recommendation to management to assist scallop industry stakeholders and managers with changes in the fishery that result from projected OA and temperature changes. 
Monday, December 21, 2020

EPA Coastal Acidification Vulnerability Research Opportunity

Applications due January 29th, 2021, 3PM ET

A research training opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Pacific Ecological Systems Division (PESD) in Newport, Oregon. The research participant will participate in a research project focused on assessing the role of land-based drivers of coastal acidification in estuaries of the United States. The project will utilize existing and novel biogeochemical, spatial, and model data to evaluate the patterns and trends of estuarine acidification in estuaries around the U.S.  This research project will help inform a vulnerability assessment of U.S. estuaries to land-based sources of acidification, including the roles of eutrophication and land use change. Activities that the research participant may be involved in include:
  • Field activities including sampling streams and estuaries for water chemistry, and servicing water quality instrumentation.
  • Compiling and analyzing datasets of stream and estuarine water quality (including nutrients, pH, alkalinity, and stable isotopes), land use, and other relevant indicators of land-based sources of acidification.
  • Compiling scientific literature relevant to the project.
  • Collaborating with government and academic researchers to help develop hydrodynamic and biogeochemical models of coastal and estuarine systems.
  • Contributing to scientific manuscripts and presentations on this research project, including opportunities for presenting at scientific conferences.

Applications are due January 29, 2021 at 3:00pm ET. 

Details here:

Thursday, December 17, 2020
Categories: Job Postings

Funding Opportunity: Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed Project

Full proposals due Friday, February 26, 2021

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System is seeking to fund projects which advance new or existing solutions that address long standing and emerging coastal modeling and forecast product development challenges. This announcement specifically funds activities needed to progress through the transitional stages from research toward full operations (such as system integration, testing, validation, and verification).

The priorities of  this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) are summarized as follows: 

  • Improving parameterizations of coastal physics in community models

  • Coupling the National Water Mode​l (Office of Water Prediction)  with ocean circulation models to understand and predict the combined effects of land processes (riverine input/land runoff) and ocean circulation (wind/waves/tides) on coastal inundation, sediment transport and water quality in the coastal zone

  • Approaches to improve performance, speed, or accuracy of data assimilation algorithms

  • Model evaluation and/or  development of acceptance metrics for operational models

  • Finding efficient approaches to transition ecosystem models (including, but not limited to, ocean acidification, harmful algal bloom (HAB), hypoxia, and pathogens) for incorporation into existing physical modeling frameworks

Investigators are highly encouraged to visit the U.S. IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed website for more information about the Testbed: and

Full proposals must be received no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Friday, 26 February 2021

Formal Notice of Funding Opportunity on

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Categories: Federal Funding