Increasing acidification throughout the marine waters of our region is taking a toll on marine species that are important to humans and the ecosystem. PSRF’s participation on the 2012 Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) on Ocean Acidification (OA) galvanized our pursuit of multiple in-water actions to tackle OA and develop mitigation strategies. The 2017 Addendum to the 2012 report “Ocean Acidification: From Knowledge to Action” (both found here), has further propelled PSRF’s commitment to this timely work. Read more about OA and changing ocean conditions in this newly released communications piece. In addition to advancing outreach (Strategy 8), we have aligned our work closely with the following eight BRP Recommended Actions:
Our goal is to pursue diverse in-water actions to tackle ocean acidification and develop effective mitigation strategies.
Operate a conservation hatchery
Established with NOAA in 2014, the hatchery cultures Olympia oysters, pinto abalone, native kelp species, sea cucumbers and cockles to support restoration and provide a hub for research on impacts to marine resources due to ocean acidification.
Launch a 5-year sugar kelp cultivation investigation
With funding from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the U.S. Navy, PSRF is leading a team of scientists to investigate whether kelp cultivation can improve seawater conditions or shelter sensitive species (2015-19).
Restore bull kelp populations
PSRF is leading the development of bull kelp restoration methods and collaborating on a kelp recovery plan. Our kelp lab, established with NOAA, can propagate kelp for both restoration and mitigation.
Help create refuges
PSRF’s conservation hatchery is well positioned to help the State proactively create refuges in priority locations by applying a suite of remediation strategies that require hatchery propagation, including producing native kelp species and Olympia oysters.
Restore native Olympia oysters
Olympia oyster seed produced at PSRF’s hatchery helps rebuild breeding populations in 19 priority locations in Puget Sound to support on-the-ground restoration efforts.
Investigate selective breeding approaches for OA tolerance
Private researchers at PSRF’s hatchery are focused on identifying and producing OA-resistant strains in several shellfish species.
Pilot a seaweed recycling program
Through a two-year project funded by NOAA’s Saltonstall-Kennedy Program and The Builders Initiative, PSRF and a team of intertidal shellfish growers are piloting the harvest of excess seaweed from aquaculture gear, and the seaweed’s potential to be used in sustainable market pathways.
Explore removal of excess seaweed from shellfish farms for water quality improvements
As part of the same two-year pilot (see left - Key Early Action 6.1.5), PSRF and growers will study the impacts to water quality and shellfish of removing excess seaweed that accumulates on shellfish-growing gear.
- Ocean Acidification/Changing Ocean Conditions overview, 2019.
- The Power of Kelp: Investigating Kelp Cultivation as a Strategy for Mitigating Ocean Acidification 2-pager, 2019.
- Food, innovation and resilience in the face of climate change. The Seattle Times, Pacific NW Magazine, 2018
- Can Kelp and Seagrass Help Oysters Adapt to Major Ocean Change? Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2018
- West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean’s chemistry. Los Angeles Times, 2016
- High Hopes: The future of Dungeness crab. Ocean Conservancy, 2016
- Shell Shocked. EarthEcho, 2016
- Ocean acidification infographic. The Nature Conservancy