Talk on Ocean Acidification

April 4, 2019 - 6:30 PM
Newport Visual Arts Center
777 NW Beach Dr
Newport, OR
MidCoast Watersheds Council

 Oregon's ocean--trouble beneath the surface.\Photo by Sara Schreiber.
Oregon's ocean--trouble beneath the surface.\Photo by Sara Schreiber.

While sea level rise, intensifying storms, and wildfires dominate discussions about the effects of climate change, the increasing acidity of the oceans is actually one of its most threatening aspects.  The nearshore ocean off the Pacific Northwest’s coast is one of the most acidified marine areas in the world.  Oregon’s ocean is changing, due both to acidification and hypoxia.

This topic will be the focus of the next meeting of the MidCoast Watersheds Council, Thursday, April 4, 6:30 p.m., at the Newport Visual Arts Center (777 N.W. Beach Dr.), Room 205.  Refreshments will be served.  The event is free and open to all.

Caren Braby, manager of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s marine resources program, will speak on “Ocean acidification and hypoxia:  What Oregon is doing to understand, adapt to, and mitigate the impacts.”

Since the early 2000s, low-oxygen—or hypoxia—has been observed in Oregon’s coastal waters. In 2006, Oregon was one of the first places in the world to observe the direct impacts of ocean acidification. Since then, both ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) events are intensifying. There are now signs that these events are undermining the rich food webs of Oregon’s ocean and estuarine ecosystems, putting iconic fisheries and coastal communities that depend on them at risk. 

Dr. Braby will present information on OAH and the work of the Oregon Coordinating Council on OAH, which she co-chairs. To provide guidance and recommendations to the state on how to respond to this issue, Oregon Senate Bill 1039 created the Oregon Coordinating Council on OAH in 2017. Consisting of state agencies, academic experts, stakeholders, and tribal interests, the OAH Council submitted their first report to the State Legislative Assembly this past September. Work continues as Oregon's OAH Action Plan will be completed later this year and become part of the growing number of similar plans globally.

A MidCoast Watersheds Council Board meeting will follow the presentation with the following agenda: Financial report, Restoration report, Technical Team report, and Administrative Team report and action items.

For more information, contact Ari Blatt, (541) 265-9195, [email protected].