Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia Experts Advise Action

ocean acidification and hypoxia coastal california beach photo with waves
Permanent and alarming changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast require immediate, decisive action, warns the 20-member West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel in a comprehensive report unveiled Monday, April 4.

The Panel (which includes several CeNCOOS Council members and investigators) was convened in 2013 to explore how West Coast government agencies could work together with scientists to combat the effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia.

The Panel’s findings, recommendations and how to take action are available on their website.  The report summarizes the state of the science around this issue and outlines potential management actions that the governments of the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, and the province of British Columbia can immediately begin implementing to offset and mitigate the economic and ecological impacts of ocean acidification.

The Panel urges ocean management and natural resource agencies to develop coordinated, multi-agency solutions, including the enhancement of a West Coast-wide monitoring network. The Panel’s recommends establishing a sustained, strategic and adaptive monitoring network that informs policy and management decisions at local, state and regional scales and identifies CeNCOOS, SCCOOS, and NANOOS as integral parts of current monitoring and data access efforts.  CeNCOOS is excited about building on existing efforts and working with state managers in coordination with our fellow regional associations to implement the Panel’s recommendations.

CeNCOOS has supported real-time observations of ocean acidification and hypoxia since 2005, with several sustained sites throughout our region.  These include sites that provide essential water quality observations to shellfish growers in Humboldt Bay, Tomales Bay, and Monterey.  In 2014, CeNCOOS supported the installation of our region’s first ocean acidification seawater chemistry monitoring system.  The instrument is co-located with the Hog Island Oyster Company in Tomales Bay and is an example of the valuable science-industry partnerships that have developed in response to these issues. 
 

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