Ocean Acidification Symposium 2011
- Participant List (48Kb pdf)
Ocean acidification is a worldwide phenomenon that may prove especially problematic in Puget Sound. Roughly one-third of the 77 million tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere every day is absorbed by the ocean. Here, it reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid, making seawater progressively more corrosive, affecting the survival of shell-forming organisms such as clams and oysters, as well as corals and many kinds of zooplankton.
In November 2011, Washington Sea Grant hosted the Symposium on Ocean Acidification at the Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington, Seattle. At the symposium:
- Bill Dewey, Policy and Communications Director of Taylor Shellfish Farms, shared stories from the “front lines” — where shellfish growers are striving to understand and adapt to a more acidic future.
- An expert scientific panel, moderated by marine geochemist Richard Feely, discussed the impact of ocean acidification on the primary and secondary producers that form the base of the Pacific Northwest marine food web.
- Brian Baird, former U.S. Congressman (WA-03) and author of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, led a panel of policy experts addressing the political challenges and opportunities presented by Ocean Acidification.
- The event closed with a reception, at which participants interacted with speakers and each other over light refreshments (cash bar).
Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification
At the Symposium, speaker Ron Sims issued a charge to regional scientists and policy makers to advise the state on ways to prevent, mitigate for and adapt to ocean acidification in Washington State marine waters. The Governor responded by convening a Blue Ribbon Panel to address the effects of ocean acidification on Washington's shellfish resources. The Panel was convened under the auspices of the Washington Shellfish Initiative—an agreement among federal and state governments, tribes, and the shellfish industry—to restore and expand Washington's shellfish resources, to promote clean-water commerce and to create family-wage jobs.
Acidified marine waters have been linked to the recent crisis in larval supplies in the Northwest's shellfish industry, underscoring the need for additional research and policy development. The Blue Ribbon Panel is comprised of scientific experts, public opinion leaders, state, federal, tribal, and local policy makers, and industry representatives. The Panel will point the way to advancing our scientific understanding of the effects of ocean acidification and will help shape our response to this pressing problem, strengthening the link between science and effective management of our natural resources.
For more information, see the Washington Department of Ecology webpage.
For more information, see the symposium’s agenda. In addition, PDFs of the speaker presentations* are available:
- Hedia Adelsman — Preparing for a changing climate: Washington State's climate change response strategy (1.2Mb)
- Sandra Brooke — Potential effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs
- Bill Dewey — Ocean acidification: What's already happening with shellfish in the Pacific Northwest (8.7Mb)
- Richard Feely — Ocean acidification in Pacific Northwest waters (9Mb)
- Carolyn Friedman — Ocean acidification: Influence on molluscs (21.8Mb)
- Terrie Klinger — Big challenges in ocean acidification research (678Kb)
- Brady Olson — Insights into the ecology of zooplankton in an acidified ocean (859Kb)
*All presentation material was made available with permission of the authors.
In conjunction with the symposium, KUOW interviewed Brian Baird and Richard Feely about ocean acification:
- Listen to the KUOW interview (33Mb mp3).