Over 100 interested citizens, stakeholders and experts came together in Anchorage on Dec 2, 2014 to discuss ocean acidification (OA) and the latest research, policy implications, community perspectives, and potential impacts to Alaska. Another 70 people joined by webinar from satellite stations hosted in Craig, Fairbanks, Homer, Seward and Unalaska.
The overall message was that ocean acidification is already affecting Alaska waters. Monitoring projects across the state are helping researchers better understand exactly how environmental drivers like temperature, salinity and currents. Changes have been particularly noticeable around tidal glaciers and in the Bering Sea. Meanwhile in the lab, researchers are studying how different marine organisms respond to lower pH levels in different ways.
Workshop participants had a chance to hear from members of Washington’s Blue Ribbon panel that was organized in the Pacific Northwest to address OA after shellfish seed stock crashed due to more acidic waters affecting the hatcheries. “Acidification hurts real people, jobs, seafood supplies, and ecosystems” said Brad Warren, of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, “but we can do a lot to reduce its potential harm.”
A smaller group of about 30 stakeholders convened the following day, December 3, to define statewide needs for OA monitoring, research, education and outreach. Read the summary from Day 2. The discussion led to a draft Call to Action and a collaborative strategy to:
- Continue basic operations and maintenance of the existing OA buoy network
- Support additional research on biological and community impacts
- Provide stakeholder and community engagement, potentially through a Blue Ribbon Panel
To get involved with this effort contact Darcy Dugan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agenda Speaker bios Ignite session (3 slide summary from presenters)
9-9:15 Welcome – Molly McCammon
10:15-10:45 [coffee break]
12-12:30 Economic impacts to commercial fisheries and subsistence harvest – Steve Colt (ppt)
3-3:30 Communicating OA – Elizabeth Arnold (video)
4:00 Closing – Molly McCammon
This workshop was organized by AOOS in collaboration with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), Alaska Sea Grant, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, and UAF’s Ocean Acidification Research Center.