Published November 27, 2012
Gregoire issues order to take on ocean acidificationBrad Shannon
Gov. Chris Gregoire issued an executive order this morning addressing ocean acidification and said she is earmarking $3.3 million in her next budget for related priority actions. In an announcement timed to the release of her Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification’s 42 recommendations, the outgoing Democrat also called for unspecified funding of a new center at the University of Washington to study the issue. Her announcement is here and the order here. A Department of Ecology backgrounder on the marine changes is here. Gregoire said the climate-change-driven issue is important to the health of Washington’s $270 million shellfish industry. And as Craig Welch of the Seattle Times reported a day ago, ocean acidification is also implicated in the health of pteropods, a key food for pink salmon and other marine life. Gregoire’s release says she is asking Ecology and other agencies to work toward reducing emissions of carbon dioxide as follows:
• Advocate for reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide at global, national and regional levels;
• Implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel, working with key federal agencies and tribal governments;
• Work with the University of Washington and others to conduct technical analysis on the effects of ocean acidification, on the sources of local land-based sources of nutrients that may contribute to ocean acidification, and on appropriate steps to address the problem;
• Request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begin the assessment of water quality criteria relevant to ocean acidification; and,
• Increase understanding of ocean acidification and its consequences among policymakers, interested organizations and the public.