Shellfish at risk: Puget Sound becoming acidified

The waters of Puget Sound and Hood Canal are becoming more acidified as a result of rising carbon dioxide from industries, power plants and vehicles. Scientists from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warn that the shifting water chemistry could damage the region’s shellfish industry.

By Craig Welch

Seattle Times environment reporter

The waters in Puget Sound’s main basin are acidifying as fast as those along the Washington Coast, where wild oysters have not reproduced since 2005.

And in parts of Hood Canal, home to much of the region’s shellfish industry, water-chemistry problems are significantly worse than the rest of Puget Sound.

Scientists from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned Monday that the changing pH of the seas is hitting Puget Sound harder and faster than many other marine waters.

That increasingly corrosive water — a byproduct of carbon-dioxide releases from industries, power plants and vehicles — is probably already harming shellfish, and over time it could reverberate through the marine food chain.

You can read the entire article in the Seattle Times here.

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