Ocean photo.  Courtesy of Mary Ellen Voss, Spills Program, WA Department of Ecology.  PIMS

Washington State's Efforts to Curb Risks from Ocean Acidification

A key issue of the 2010 Water Quality Assessment was a request by the Center of Biological Diversity (CBD), a San Francisco-based conservation group, to list all or some of Washington’s coastal waters in Category 5 - the 303(d) List) - as impaired due to ocean acidification. Ecology received more than 21,000 emails from around the globe as part of a CBD email action campaign in support of the issue. Ecology reviewed all of the documentation submitted by CBD and concluded that Puget Sound waters should be listed in Category 2 (waters of concern) for potential impacts to fish and shellfish habitat from human activities, including conditions that makes the waters more vulnerable, such as climate change, urbanization, and ocean acidification.

Consistent with the Category 2 listing for Puget Sound as a waters of concern, Washington is proactively working to identify science and data gaps in understanding ocean acidification and what steps it can take to curb effects from ocean acidification at the regional and local level. To demonstrate Washington’s commitment, a Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification was convened by Governor Gregoire in February 2012. The Panel includes scientific experts, relevant agencies and stakeholders to develop clear, actionable recommendations on understanding, monitoring, adapting, and mitigating ocean acidification in Puget Sound and Washington waters. The Blue Ribbon Panel results will be delivered in a report to the Governor by October 1, 2012. These results will provide key information that Ecology will use for future efforts in Puget Sound and elsewhere to try to deal with ocean acidification at the regional and local level. Information can be found at: www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oceanacidification.html.






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Last updated June 2012