Gregoire announces 3.3 million to tackle ocean acidification (audio)

Gov. Chris Gregoire has just released a long awaited report on ocean acidification. At a public ceremony today she announced major funding for the execution of some of the report’s recommendations.

Billions of larval oysters have died in shellfish hatcheries in the Northwest since 2005. Coastal waters are becoming too corrosive for oysters and some other creatures to form their shells.

The new report calls for more research on the local causes of ocean acidification as well as funding for monitoring of acidity levels in coastal waters.

It also proposes adaptation strategies such as breeding shellfish that are resistant to acidic waters, planting native seagrasses to absorb more CO2, and even sprinkling the coast with leftover shells from restaurants to make the water less acidic – sort of like taking a Rolaid.

$3.3 million will be put towards the creation of a new center at the University of Washington to study ocean acidification. The money will come from the proceeds of state land management, like sales of timber and shellfish, and from the state hazardous waste tax.

Ashley Ahearn, Northwest Public Radio, 27 November 2012. Audio.

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