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Ocean Acidification Program News

California Ocean Protection Council Announces West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, Calif. – California and Oregon are joining forces to help address ocean acidification and hypoxia, a West Coast-wide threat to our shared marine and coastal ecosystems. The California Natural Resources Agency, on behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Oregon to jointly sponsor a high-level science panel to help address the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia.  The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel will provide state-level decision makers with the knowledge needed to evaluate and develop action plans for these complex issues. The science panel will also identify the research and monitoring needed to contribute to a West Coast-wide assessment of ocean acidification and hypoxia, and address information and data gaps critical to resource management decisions.
“With the creation of this science panel, we will be able to use the expertise of scientists across the West Coast as we aim to tackle the complex process of ocean acidification,” said Secretary for Natural Resources and OPC Chair John Laird. “This is an example of working cooperatively to improve understanding and create strategies to leave a healthier marine ecosystem for the future of the entire West Coast.”
The science panel is convened under the leadership of the California Ocean Science Trust and chaired by Dr. Alexandria Boehm of Stanford University. The science panel consists of a team of 20 experts from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia and will build upon the significant scientific knowledge identified by the Washington State Ocean Acidification Blue Ribbon Panel.
The science panel incorporates expertise from the fields of chemical and physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine biology, ecology and physiology, as well as coastal water quality and nutrient dynamics.  This collaboration across disciplines and state borders will advance the region’s collective knowledge base and inform how states respond to major shifts in the basic chemistry of their marine environments. 
“I'm so pleased West Coast decision makers have reached out to the scientific community to help them understand this complex issue, and I’m proud our scientists have stepped up and answered the call in support of state interests,” said Skyli McAfee, executive director of the California Ocean Science Trust and science advisor to the OPC.
The science panel was convened following a resolution by the OPC charging the OPC Science Advisory Team with its creation. The California Ocean Science Trust and counterparts at the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University will use their expertise in integrating science with management and decision-making to guide and staff the science panel. These institutions will serve as the link between the science panel and government decision-makers. The science panel will convene periodically throughout 2014.



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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