Community

Ocean acidification seminar scheduled for Everett

EVERETT — Snohomish County residents wanting to learn more about ocean acidification are invited to a free seminar Jan. 24 at the Everett Station.

The event, hosted by the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), will feature presentations by three members of the Washington State Panel on Ocean Acidification. The seminar is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. in the Weyerhaeuser Room at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett.

Terrie Klinger, University of Washington School of Marine & Environmental Affairs ecologist will present "What is Ocean Acidification?" Shallin Busch, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research ecologist, will present "Food Web Implications of Ocean Acidification." Brad Warren, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and National Fisheries Conservation Center Director of Global Ocean Health, will present "Recommendations, Partnerships and Actions."

"This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about the issues plaguing our oceans, including the Puget Sound," said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. "From here we can determine what steps to take for improvement."

Ocean acidification is the result of carbon-dioxide emissions being absorbed from the atmosphere into seawater, forming carbonic acid, radically altering ocean chemistry, and endangering sea life. Between 2005 and 2009, up to 80 percent of the oyster larvae in Washington were killed before the problem was identified and temporary counter-measures were taken.

"We're pleased to be able to help educate the public about ocean acidification," said Snohomish County MRC Chair Tom Hoban. "The breadth of its effects has only been recognized within the last decade and most people have never even heard of it."

A 28-member Washington State Panel on Ocean Acidification was appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire in February 2012 and was co-chaired by Bill Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Manning, former director of the Washington Department of Ecology. The panel presented its findings and 42 recommendations for action Nov. 27 in Seattle.

The Snohomish County MRC is helping share the results of that study. Its overall goal is to understand, steward, and restore the marine and estuarine ecology of the county. It is one of seven MRCs in the Northwest Straits region of the Puget Sound.

In addition to the Snohomish County MRC, this event is sponsored by the Northwest Straits Commission, Puget Sound Partnership, National Fisheries Conservation Center, City of Everett, and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

For more information on the state panel's findings on ocean acidification, go to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oceanacidification.html. For more information on the Snohomish County MRC, go to www.snocomrc.org.

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