A new report delivered to Oregon legislators by the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia says that impacts of ocean acidification and hypoxia are now predictable every summer.
That steady increase in acidification is approaching or meeting levels problematic not only for oysters, but for crab, mussels, urchins, salmon rockfish and other species, according to the report from the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia (OAH Council). The diverse stakeholder group provides science-based recommendations to legislators in Oregon.
Since it was created by legislators in 2017, the OAH Council has worked to understand, mitigate and adapt to changing ocean conditions and associated negative impacts.
Over the last two years, the OAH Council invested significant time on two objectives: 1) exploring the ability of state agencies to address ocean change, as described in the Multiagency Report on OAH (2021) and 2) awarding funding per the Oregon legislature investment in OAH through House Bill 3114 (2021). Passage of HB3114 marked the largest Oregon legislative investment in OAH initiatives as well as the first funding to be received by the Oregon Ocean Science Trust (OOST) for distribution through a competitive grants program.
The report notes that the OAH Council has played a key role in building up Oregon’s OAH monitoring network to document ocean trends — with a goal of distinguishing between natural variability and long-term change — which will in turn will be used in ocean management.
The OAH Council has helped establish monitoring programs in two of Oregon’s most important bays, Tillamook and Yaquina, standing by the leadership from the partner institutions who founded these sites, the Tillamook Estuary Partnership and Hatfield Marine Science Center.
The two sites, supported by competitive grant awards from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and the OOST (from HB3114), now have a solid foundation and start of a long-term monitoring program, although both are in need of long-term funding to continue.