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Ocean Acidification Impacts on Shellfish Workshop


This workshop was planned to bring together stakeholders from the US west coast who are working to understand and address ocean acidification. The extent of ocean acidification effects is unknown at present, though it could threaten valuable west coast fisheries for oysters, mussels, clams, sea urchins and other shellfish. Along the Pacific coast, evidence of acidified seawater was found in 2007 during a routine oceanic survey conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Hatcheries in Oregon, Washington, and California have separately reported recruitment failure that may be linked to changing pH. Climate change and ocean acidification were identified as serious threats in the West Coast Governor's Agreement (among California, Oregon, and Washington), and as high priority research needs in the "West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs" report prepared by Oregon Sea Grant, in partnership with other west coast Sea Grant agencies and the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. To date, such studies have largely been conducted independently, and would benefit from increased interstate and intrastate coordination.

More information on current knowledge can be found in the following publications:

• National Academy of Sciences "Report in Brief"
• Joint US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry/European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) "Frequently asked questions about ocean acidification"
• EPOCA's "Special introductory guide for policy advisers and decision makers"


The objectives of this workshop were to:

• Encourage cooperation between scientists, shellfish growers, fishermen, and environmental managers;
• Review and determine how to better integrate currently available shellfish recruitment studies (mostly collected by the shellfish industry) and ocean observing system measurements (mostly collected by academia and government);
• Identify which future studies are needed; and
• Plan for future cross-disciplinary interaction.


This workshop was held at SCCWRP in Costa Mesa, California July 7-8, 2010.


Fifty participants were invited from the shellfish industry, regulatory agencies, and research institutions. They received presentations on a variety of topics and took part in discussions to address key questions related to the goals of the workshop.

Participant Contact Information
Participant Short Biographies
Breakout Groups

The background, goals, and findings of the workshop are described in the summary brochure and the workshop report:

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Shellfish Workshop: Findings and recommendations. 2010. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems, California Sea Grant, USC Sea Grant, Oregon Sea Grant, Washington Sea Grant, California Ocean Science Trust, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Technical Report 624. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. ABSTRACT


Date Presentations
July 7

Industry Perspective - Robin Downey (Pacific Shellfish Growers)
(Video | Slides)

Industry Perspective - Bruce Steele (California Sea Urchin Commission)
(Video | Slides)

Oceanographic Measurements of Acidification Prevalence and Plans for Future Monitoring and Modeling Studies - Richard Feely (NOAA)
(Video | Slides)

Interannual Patterns in Shellfish Recruitment - Chris Langdon (Oregon State University)
(Video | Slides)

Interannual Patterns in Shellfish Recruitment - Steve Schroeter (University of California Santa Barbara)
(Video | Slides)

Studies of Acidification Vulnerability - Gretchen Hofmann (University of California Santa Barbara)
(Video | Slides)

Studies of Acidification Vulnerability - Jim Barry (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
(Video | Slides)

July 8

Placing West Coast Efforts into a National Context - Phil Taylor (National Science Foundation / Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification)
(Video | Slides)


This workshop was co-sponsored by California, Washington, Oregon, and University of Southern California Sea Grant agencies, the California Ocean Science Trust, and NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System. Representatives on the organizing committee were:

• Steve Brandt, Oregon Sea Grant
• Penny Dalton, Washington Sea Grant
• Russ Moll, California Sea Grant
• Robin Downey, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
• Richard Feely, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
• Diane Pleschner-Steele, California Wetfish Producers Association
• Bruce Steele, California sea urchin diver
• Steve Weisberg, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
• Libe Washburn, University of California, Santa Barbara