Ocean Acidification In Washington

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Imagine sitting in a fancy restaurant and ordering the Willapa Bay oyster special. the waiter says they don’t have any oysters.This tragedy is due to ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is happening in Washington’s backyard, but residents might not know what it is. Ocean acidification is when the pH in the ocean is replaced with more acidic substances like carbon dioxide. Ocean acidification is killing off the oyster population, which is also affecting the jobs in Washington. Initially, ocean acidification is when acidic gases are emitted into the air and absorbed into the ocean. According to the video Ocean Acidification by NOAA, ¼ of all the carbon dioxide release into the air is absorbed into the oceans. Some major contributors to carbon emissions are automobile gas and factory emissions. This is a problem in the Pacific Northwest because acid sinks to the bottom, but Pacific winds bring acidic water up from the bottom near the shore by the shellfish. The shellfish, mostly oysters, therefore try to grow in water that is too acidic. …show more content…

The oyster hatcheries are affected because the baby oysters, or larvae, need calcium carbonate to build their shells, but it is replaced by the emitted carbon dioxide. The pH, or calcium carbonate will have gone down by 50% by mid century, according to the article, “Are Oysters Doomed?” The larvae dissolve in acidic water because they don’t have the nutrients to make their shells. If the oyster hatcheries don’t have the larvae to give to the oyster farms, then they can’t support the industry which is very large in Washington. Infact, the video Acidifying Water Takes Toll On Northwest Shellfish, says that the oyster industry supports 3,200 jobs in Washington state and brings in $2.7 million a year

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