OSU forum at TBCC on ocean acidification and coastal hypoxia

Note: The Headlight Herald live streamed this event last night. We also recorded the forum, but unfortunately experienced technical difficulties, and recorded the beginning of the forum, and the Q & A at the end of the forum. You can watch those sections of the forum at the following website: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tillamook-news

A public forum on Tuesday, Oct. 23, explored the current and potential future impacts of two emerging phenomena along the Oregon coast – increasing ocean acidity and seasonal incidence of low-oxygen waters, or “hypoxia.”

A series of speakers presented the latest research at the free community event, “Demystifying Coastal Hypoxia & Ocean Acidification,” at Tillamook Bay Community College. A panel discussion followed, focusing on what individuals, communities, government agencies and others can do to reduce and manage potential impacts ocean acidification and hypoxia, both globally and locally.

The event was particularly timely, organizers say, as the fishing industry, agencies and scientists are expressing increasing alarm at the trend of more acidic ocean waters that have less oxygen to support marine life. The effects already are being felt in Oregon, where acidic, low-oxygen seawater contributed to the death of a substantial fraction of the young oysters produced by the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery near Tillamook.

Oregon is a prime location at which to study these threats, scientists say, and the public will have an opportunity to learn more about them at the forum.

Hosted by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans program led by Oregon State University, the forum will feature researchers from OSU, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is supported by Oregon Sea Grant.

More information on the event is available at: http://www.piscoweb.org/node/522

Speakers and panelists included Francis Chan and Jack Barth of OSU, who have documented and explained increasing hypoxia events off Oregon; Burke Hales and George Waldbusser of OSU, who have helped Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery offset the effects of acidic and hypoxic water that had been killing juvenile oysters; Alan Barton, manager of the Whiskey Creek hatchery; Steve Rumrill, the head of ODFW’s shellfish program, Waldo Wakefield of NOAA, who studies how environmental factors like hypoxia influence fish abundance and distribution; and others.

Mark Floyd, OSU, 24 October 2012. Article.

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