Rising Ocean Acidity Threatens West Coast

A recent report conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has revealed that rising ocean acidity levels, along with growing areas of low-oxygen waters, are posing a serious threat to fishing industries, ecosystems and economies along the West Coast and up into British Columbia.

According to NOAA, ocean acidification is already affecting the regions oyster hatcheries and sea snails, which will shortly diminish an important food source for salmon and herring. As acidification intensifies due to increased carbon dioxide emissions, oysters, mussels, and crabs could experience significant economic losses. Additionally, warmer water temperatures are leading to less oxygen in the water, which kills fish or forces them to migrate away from the coast.

NOAA Chief Scientist, Rick Spinrad, stated, “The sea changes we’re seeing on the West Coast are not isolated. Other coastal areas across the nation and world are experiencing first-hand the local consequences of global climate change”. This study, along with other similar reports, includes a plan to help coastal communities lessen their exposure to these challenges and boost their resilience to future changes.

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