Ocean Acidification Blue Ribbon Panel Meeting
On June 20 the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification will be conducting a day long meeting at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle to discuss the impact of ocean acidification on shellfish farming here in the state, and present science recommendations for review and discussion. Last December Washington state was distinguished as being the first state to appoint a panel of leading policy and science experts to address this particular ocean health issue. Executive Policy Advisor with the Washington State Department of Ecology Hedia Adelsman talks about why ocean water is becoming more and more acidic.
ADELSMAN: One of the big reasons that now is being documented by a lot of scientists is the absorption by the ocean of the greenhouse gas emissions, especially the carbon dioxide that is emitted from fossil fuel burning - exactly thirty percent of that is being absorbed by the ocean. At one time everybody thought that’s a really good idea - we could inject a lot of it into the ocean, but what we’re finding out is there is of course now this side effect that is changing the chemistry of the oceans, and not only in Washington - the Pacific, but throughout many of the oceans around the world.
More than 3,200 people in the state are employed by Washington shellfish growers, and the shellfish industry contributes roughly $270 million per year to the states economy. The Blue Ribbon Panel meeting is open to the public, and will also be broadcast by webinar so those unable to attend in person may join online. For more information visit the Department of Ecology’s website.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.