The Washington Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) will be meeting on March 17th in Olympia to initiate a refresh of our groundbreaking Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations from 2012 in addressing the challenge of ocean acidification (OA). This refresh will highlight accomplishments over the past five years, incorporate the most recent science on OA, and prioritize our collective actions to further tackle this challenge moving forward.

Washington Policy Manager Gus Gates, pictured here surveying shellfish aquaculture in Willapa Bay, represents recreational ocean users on the Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC).

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are particularly vulnerable to the effects of OA due to our proximity to the major upwelling zone of the California Current. The cold, nutrient rich waters brought up from the deep during our Summer months when the north winds prevail are typically lower in dissolved oxygen and pH. Additionally, Washington State has the most productive commercial shellfish industry on the West Coast. Annual sales of farmed shellfish from Washington account for almost 85 percent of U.S. West Coast sales, including Alaska. The shellfish industry generates $270 million annually, and directly and indirectly supports 3,200 jobs, which is a significant contributor to our coastal and state economy, as well as part of our culture and a significant contributor to the quality of life that we enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest. You can dive deeper on some of our previous posts about OA in Washington, as well as the role Surfrider plays on the larger scale.

Marine Resources Advisory Council Meeting: BRP_Refresh_Meeting_Agenda_DRAFT

Friday, March 17, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

DoubleTree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA.

This meeting is open to the public.

Purpose: This meeting will convene the state’s leading ocean acidification thinkers to reevaluate and revise (as appropriate) the six focus areas of the 2012 Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations. This reevaluation will help ensure Washington state builds on the progress and collaboration over the last several years and continues strategic momentum in addressing the ongoing threat from our changing ocean chemistry.