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Ocean Acidification Program News

Alaska Ocean Acidification and HABs: Networking and coastal variability

Coastal marine species, fisheries, subsistence harvests and mariculture operations in Alaska have long been adversely affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs), especially paralytic shellfish poisoning events, with events increasing during recent marine heat waves. Alaska shellfish and fish species, and the
marine industries that depend on them, also face potential near-term threats from ocean acidification (OA), due both to the presence of “cold and old” ocean waters with low pH and low aragonite saturation on the shelf, as well as biological and physical processes that change acidification conditions spatially in estuary and coastal waters, as well as on daily to seasonal to interannual time scales. Scientists, resource managers, public health officials, oyster farmers, fishermen, Alaska Native tribes, and other stakeholders have come together in statewide collaborations to address HAB and OA threats in Alaska through improved communication, monitoring, research and event response. The Alaska HAB Network and Alaska OA Network are both coordinated by the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), part of the national NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), and leverage existing agency and coastalcommunity programs and partnerships. Near-shore time series measurements are starting to capture how HABs and OA are affected by changing ocean temperatures, upwelling of shelf waters,
phytoplankton blooms, sea ice changes and freshwater inputs from precipitation and glacier/snowpack melt. These observations, in combination with research on species sensitivities and downscaled climate modeling, can be used to produce the more detailed, spatially explicit HAB and OA risk assessments needed to guide fishery management, public health, and mariculture development decisions in Alaska.
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The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to prepare society to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as acidification occurs. Learn more about the human connections and adaptation strategies from these efforts.

Adaptation approaches fostered by the OAP include:


Using models and research to understand the sensitivity of organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification to make predictions about the future, allowing communities and industries to prepare


Using these models and predictions as tools to facilitate management strategies that will protect marine resources and communities from future changes


Developing innovative tools to help monitor ocean acidification and mitigate changing ocean chemistry locally


On the Road

Drive fuel-efficient vehicles or choose public transportation. Choose your bike or walk! Don't sit idle for more than 30 seconds. Keep your tires properly inflated.

With your Food Choices

Eat local- this helps cut down on production and transport! Reduce your meat and dairy. Compost to avoid food waste ending up in the landfill

With your Food Choices

Make energy-efficient choices for your appliances and lighting. Heat and cool efficiently! Change your air filters and program your thermostat, seal and insulate your home, and support clean energy sources

By Reducing Coastal Acidification

Reduce your use of fertilizers, Improve sewage treatment and run off, and Protect and restore coastal habitats

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You've taken the first step to learn more about ocean acidification - why not spread this knowledge to your community?

Every community has their unique culture, economy and ecology and what’s at stake from ocean acidification may be different depending on where you live.  As a community member, you can take a larger role in educating the public about ocean acidification. Creating awareness is the first step to taking action.  As communities gain traction, neighboring regions that share marine resources can build larger coalitions to address ocean acidification.  Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Work with informal educators, such as aquarium outreach programs and local non-profits, to teach the public about ocean acidification. Visit our Education & Outreach page to find the newest tools!
  2. Participate in habitat restoration efforts to restore habitats that help mitigate the effects of coastal acidification
  3. Facilitate conversations with local businesses that might be affected by ocean acidification, building a plan for the future.
  4. Partner with local community efforts to mitigate the driver behind ocean acidification  – excess CO2 – such as community supported agriculture, bike & car shares and other public transportation options.
  5. Contact your regional Coastal Acidification Network (CAN) to learn how OA is affecting your region and more ideas about how you can get involved in your community
       More for Taking Community Action