Rescuing shellfish from the rising acidity in Puget Sound will require a wide-ranging response:
Everything from curbing greenhouse gases and controlling water pollution to growing more seaweed and putting restaurant-discarded oyster shells into shallow bays.
Read more at EarthFix.
Today, Washington Governor Gregoire’s blue ribbon panel on ocean acidification released “the most comprehensive blueprint yet produced for policymakers seeking ways to preserve aquatic life under threat from ocean acidification.”
The panel identified actions that might offset the corrosive effects of Puget Sound water on shellfish that grow there:
Enlist key leaders and policymakers as ambassadors for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and protecting Washington’s marine waters from acidification.
Limit water pollution, especially from sewage, which puts nutrients in marine waters. Nutrients sustain algae blooms that, in turn, acidify the water. Stringent controls should be pursued if warranted by additional scientific data.
Expand the growth of seaweed, eelgrass, and other aquatic vegetation that absorb carbon dioxide and help protect vulnerable young shellfish from acidification.
Deposit shell material into shallow bays — especially the shells from millions of oysters consumed at restaurants throughout Washington and currently dumped in landfills. This would make ocean water more alkaline, and therefore less acidic.
Develop more reliable methods for altering the chemistry of the seawater that’s pumped out on a commercial scale so it’s less corrosive when used in shellfish hatcheries and nurseries.
Breed shellfish that are more resistant to acidic waters.
See the full multimedia story at EarthFix.