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The latest goings-on at the MidCoast Watersheds Council

Ocean Acidification and Estuaries: Connections Between Land and Sea

MidCoast Watersheds Council


Many people hear about ocean acidification (OA) and think about bleaching coral reefs, but what are the effects of OA on our local estuaries? Will our oyster and Dungeness crab fisheries be affected? Is there anything we can do about OA locally?  

The MidCoast Watersheds Council invites the public to attend a presentation by Dr. George Waldbusser, on February 1st, 2018 at 6:30 PM in Newport.  The talk will be held in room 205 at the Newport Visual Arts Center at Nye Beach.  Refreshments will be served.

Ocean acidification is the lowering of pH due to the absorption of carbon dioxide.  It is often thought of as an open ocean problem. However, regulators, policy makers, and scientists have realized that ocean acidification also occurs within our nearshore waters and estuaries. The dynamic nature typical of our region’s estuaries, and the fact that they are already often naturally (or unnaturally) enhanced in carbon dioxide has led many to believe increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide does not affect these important habitats. In addition to acidification from atmospheric increases in carbon dioxide, other local and watershed based inputs can also contribute to the acidification of local estuarine waters. In this presentation, George will discuss some of these dynamics and conceptual issues preventing a deeper appreciation of acidification in estuaries, as well as various proposed measures and approaches that can be taken locally to help mitigate this acidification.

Dr. George Waldbusser is an Associate Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University with an interest in human-environment interactions. His expertise is in seafloor ecology and biogeochemistry, and he conducts research on the interactions between marine and estuarine biology and chemistry. For the past decade he has been studying ocean acidifications on bivalves, including oysters, mussels, and clams, in Corvallis and the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, as well as the US East Coast. He was instrumental in helping to interpret ocean acidification impacts in oyster hatcheries here in the Pacific Northwest, and works on both in basic and applied research questions including strategies for adaptation and mitigation of acidification effects. Dr. Waldbusser has interacted with shellfish growers around the country, and in France, Chile and New Zealand, and was awarded the OSU Vice Provost’s Award for Excellence in Strategic Impact in 2016 for his efforts working with stakeholders. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Shellfish Research and is an Associate Editor at the journals of Limnology and Oceanography: Methods and the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Come learn more ocean acidification in estuaries on February 1st.