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Adapting to Environmental Change: Strategies for West Coast Shellfish Aquaculture

July 6 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Please join Drs. Melissa Ward, University of Oxford, and Kristin Green, Oregon State University, for this informative webinar regarding their research on shellfish aquaculture producers in California and Oregon. Teri King, Washington Sea Grant will be hosting the webinar.

Register in advance for this meeting here

Coastal communities along the U.S. West Coast experience a myriad of environmental stressors, including exposure to low pH waters exacerbated by ocean acidification (OA). This can result in ecological and social consequences, making necessary the exploration and support for locally relevant strategies to adapt to OA and other environmental changes. The shellfish aquaculture industry along the West Coast is particularly vulnerable to OA, given the negative effects of low pH on shellfish survival and growth.

As such, the social-ecological system exemplified by this industry serves as an opportunity to identify and address strategies for local adaptation. Through interviews conducted with West Coast shellfish farm owners and managers (‘growers’), we investigate perceptions of OA and environmental change and identify specific strategies for adaptation. We also identify non-environmental stressors, including economic, social, and political factors. We find that growers are concerned about OA, among many other stressors such as marine pathogens, water temperature, maintaining a labor force, and permitting and regulations. From these interviews, we identify a list of adaptive strategies growers employ or would like to employ to improve their overall adaptive capacity to multiple stressors, which together, allow farms to weather periods of OA-induced stress more effectively. This work fills a gap in the literature on adaptive capacity by amplifying the voices of those on the front lines of climate change and identifying explicit pathways for adaptation.


July 6
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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