Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification Report – “Ocean Acidification: From Knowledge to Action”

The Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel, which was convened by former governor Christine Gregoire in February 2012, released this report in November 2012 to detail its findings and recommendations for addressing the sources of and adapting to the impacts of ocean acidification.

The report summarizes the science behind the causes and consequences of ocean acidification in marine waters, and the contributing processes and factors unique to Washington. The report also details species responses to ocean acidification - primarily the effects on calcifying species that make up 30 percent of Puget Sound’s marine species- and the resulting effects on ecosystems and ecosystem services. The Panel provides more detail on this subject in a companion technical report, the “Scientific Summary of Ocean Acidification in Washington State Marine Waters.

The recommendations, which are detailed in Chapters 3 through 9, seek to address both the drivers and the impacts of ocean acidification, and ways to improve monitoring, research, and education related to ocean acidification. Collectively, these focal points form the structure of a comprehensive strategy for addressing ocean acidification in Washington’s marine waters. The Panel recommends 42 actions in the following areas: 

1. Reduce emissions of carbon dioxide;

2. Reduce local land-based contributions to ocean acidification;

3. Increase our ability to adapt to and remediate the impacts of ocean acidification;

4. Invest in Washington’s ability to monitor and investigate the causes and effects of ocean acidification;

5. Inform, educate, and engage stakeholders, the public, and decision makers in responding to ocean acidification; and

6. Maintain a sustainable and coordinated focus on ocean acidification at all levels of government.

Each action includes a brief description. Implementation leads, partners, time frame, and estimated costs are included in Appendix 1.

Following release of the report, former governor Gregoire issued Executive Order 12-07 on November 27, 2012, directing the Department of Ecology to coordinate implementation of the recommendations. The Blue Ribbon Panel’s findings and recommendations will inform the work of the Washington Marine Resources Advisory Council, created by the 2013 Legislature in ESB 5603.

Publication Date: November 2012

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