Can meadows of underwater eelgrass help mitigate the harmful effects of Ocean Acidification on Eastern oysters?

Emily Rivest, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV), such as eelgrass, could mitigate the harmful impacts of ocean acidification on Eastern oysters by reducing the acidity of waters where oysters grow. These underwater grasses take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen into coastal waters, reducing the exposure of marine organisms to increases in acidity conditions that slow or stop oyster growth and reproduction. Oysters, in turn, improve water clarity forseagrasses to thrive by filtering particles out of the water and allowing more sunlight to penetrate. This modeling project will identify the threshold of acidification beyond which the economically important Eastern oyster is negatively impacted and will evaluate the potential benefit of seagrasses in protecting oysters and the ecosystem services they provide. The modeling tool will also identify the acidification conditions in which seagrass restoration is most helpful and when the economic benefits of this restoration to Easter oyster production outweigh the costs. At the end of this project, the final model will be freely available as an online tool and will help scientists, managers and oyster growers assess the potential for both seagrass and oyster restoration.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Research to inform adaptation decisions for Alaska’s Salmon Fisheries

David Finnoff, University of Wyoming

Alaska is expected to experience ocean acidification faster than any other United States coastal waters, primarily due to its colder water which absorbs more carbon dioxide than warmer waters. With seafood industry job incomes over $1.5 billion annually and a communities that rely on healthy oceans for subsistence, nutrition, and culture, increased ocean acidification is expected to have significant implications. Research on the potential impact to salmon has emerged as one of the top priorities, identified during a 2016 statewide workshop and stakeholder survey. Despite the economic importance of salmon, little research has been done on the effects of ocean acidification on salmon and the fishing industry and communities that depends on salmon. Acidification has been shown to impair coho salmon’s ability to smell and detect their prey. It has also been shown to reduce pink salmon growth rates. In addition, future ocean acidification is expected to affect salmon prey species, which is expected to affect Pacific salmon survival, abundance and productivity. This project will investigate the implication of ocean acidification thresholds and major ecosystem shifts in the Gulf of Alaska on salmon. Integrated human-ecological models will be developed to simulate management scenarios to assess the benefits of pre-emptive adaptation planning and policy making. The information from modeling these scenarios will help create decision tools for salmon managers.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
$3.5 Million Awarded to Identify Acidification Thresholds in Coastal Ecosystems

$3.5 Million Awarded to Identify Acidification Thresholds in Coastal Ecosystems

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) have jointly funded four projects totaling $3.5 million to identify the threshold at which ecosystems change rapidly and their services are irreversibly altered. From the Chesapeake Bay to the coastal waters of Alaska, this work will help managers reduce stressors to avoid the decline or potential collapse of valuable marine ecosystems.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Ocean Acidification Outreach Internship

NOAA and USCB Marine Science Institute

The Ocean Acidification Outreach Intern will work with scientists and communicators to create regionally specific “Ocean Acidification Outreach In A Box” toolkits tailored for diverse stakeholders who want to learn about the latest OA research. These toolkits will include outreach materials most appropriate for various US regional (Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast and Pacific Islands) audiences and venues and will include actions that audiences can take to adapt to and mitigate this environmental change. By equipping OA scientists and communicators around the nation with effective, consistent and solution-focused messages that make ocean acidification understandable, stakeholders will better understand OA science and be empowered with stewardship actions.

Thursday, September 13, 2018
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Piecing together the ocean acidification puzzle along the US West Coast

Piecing together the ocean acidification puzzle along the US West Coast

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

Emma Hodgson, a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University, and her colleagues are making big strides in piecing together the ocean acidification puzzle along the US west coast for those that make decisions around this ocean change. As part of her doctoral research at the University of Washington, Hodgson worked with a team to design modeling tools that create a better picture of ocean acidification impacts on fisheries catches, economies, and communities in this US region.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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