Leading experts who are helping the state study and counteract rising ocean acidity levels are scheduled to speak at a free seminar Jan. 24 at Everett Station.
The Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee is hosting the event featuring speakers from the Washington State Panel on Ocean Acidification. The seminar is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. in Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room, 3201 Smith Ave.
“We’re pleased to be able to help educate the public about ocean acidification,” said Tom Hoban, chairman of the county Marine Resources committee. “The breadth of its effects has only been recognized within the last decade and most people have never even heard of it.”
Ocean acidification results from carbon dioxide emissions being absorbed from the atmosphere into seawater. That process forms carbonic acid, which alters ocean chemistry and can endanger sea life.
Between 2005 and 2009, up to 80 percent of the oyster larvae in state waters reportedly were killed before the problem was identified and temporary counter-measures taken.
A 28-member state ocean acidification panel was appointed last year by former Gov. Chris Gregoire. Leading that group are Bill Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Manning, former director of the state Department of Ecology. In November, the panel presented its findings and 42 recommendations for action.
The county’s Marine Resources Committee is helping to share the results of that study. In addition to that group, the upcoming Everett event is sponsored by the Northwest Straits Commission, Puget Sound Partnership, National Fisheries Conservation Center, city of Everett and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
The three panel members scheduled to speak in Everett are: Terrie Klinger, University of Washington School of Marine &Environmental Affairs ecologist; Shallin Busch, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research ecologist; and Brad Warren, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and director of the Global Ocean Health program for the National Fisheries Conservation Center.
For more information on the state panel’s findings go to www.ecy.wa.gov/water/marine/oceanacidification.html. For more on the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee, go to www.snocomrc.org or contact Kathleen Herrmann at 425-388-6414.