Building Stakeholder Capacity to Monitor Ocean Acidification in the US and Internationally

PI: Brad Warren

CONTACT INFORMATION:     Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)                                                   Global Oceans Health Program

PI First name, Last name:        Brad Warren

Phone:                                    (206) 579.2407


Project website link:         



  1. Funding ocean chemistry monitoring programs on the West Coast

SFP obtained $79,000 from the Educational Foundation of America to support continuation and expansion of shellfish growers’ efforts to monitor pCO2, pH, DO, and other parameters and to conduct parallel bioassays to identify and adapt to effects on oyster larvae. Funds are provided to the PCSGA to support this collaborative effort by the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Oregon State University, NOAA, and others

  1. Organization of the workshop: Ocean Acidification Workshop for Virginia Shellfish Producers: An introduction to OA, its impacts, and monitoring tools to protect hatchery production

This workshop was prompted by inquiries from hatchery operators who suspect recent larval mortality may be related to changing estuarine chemistry. Held on October 25th in Yorktown, VA and co-sponsored by SFP and VIMS, representatives from the VA shellfish industry, academia, the House of Representatives, NOAA, Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, and Virginia Tech attended. Speakers included Alan Barton, Whitman Miller, Christopher Gobler, and Richard Zimmerman. Growers learned about OA and its impacts on shellfish production in the West Coast, adaptation, instrumentation and geochemical dynamics of estuarine environments that may hinder larval success by limiting availability of carbonate. This was the second workshop of its kind held by SFP; an earlier workshop in January 2011 helped shellfish hatcheries in Maine OA begin monitoring to address suspected effects of changing seawater chemistry.

  1. Development of proposals USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program.

A proposal is in preparation for the AFRI Program “Integrated Approaches to Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Agroecosystems”. The Director is Mark Green of St. Josephs College, with Warren and Capson as collaborators. The proposal posits to use large-scale buffering of coastal mud flats in Maine to increase populations of Mya arenaria and to educate stakeholders about acidification and methods for mitigation and adaptation. Potential funding is $750,000 over two years.

A second proposal is also in preparation for the AFRI program, “Regional Approaches for Adaptation to and Mitigation of Climate Variability and Change”. The Director is George Waldbusser of OSU, and team leaders include Joe Salisbury, Chris Gobler, Burke Hales and Todd Capson. Objectives include: (1) Development of a monitoring network in commercial shellfish hatcheries to support adaptation and mitigation; and (2) using this network and a coordinated research, education, and outreach effort to develop, implement, test, and improvement practices to protect shellfish production from climate-related stressors. The program encompasses the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts over a 5 year period with potential to secure up to $10,000,000 in funding.

  1. Development of the pre-proposal to build capacity to monitor OA in the Tropical Eastern Pacific, the Humboldt Current System, and Southeastern Africa

SFP has built an international team that proposes to monitor OA in Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador (the Galapagos Marine Reserve), Chile and Kenya. The monitoring program would: (1) raise awareness of the need to address OA on national and international levels, (2) provide essential data for fisheries, aquaculture, and marine resource managers, (3) enhance our understanding of the global carbon cycle, (4) contribute to informed responses to marine consequences of carbon dioxide emissions, and (5) provide a model for international cooperation to address OA, including the creation on an international OA monitoring network. Proposed instrumentation includes the SeapHOX instrument package in addition to a Battelle pCO2 monitor and mooring in the Strait of Magellan.  Participants are from government, academia, and NGOs.