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Members of Oregon Delegation Congratulate Oregon State University on $673,000 Federal Grant to Study Ocean Health

December 22, 2017
Press Release
Research will Focus on Shellfish Industry and Ocean Acidification

Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader congratulated Oregon State University on securing a $673,000 federal grant through NOAA Fisheries to study the effects of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry. OSU is one of three universities to receive two-year grants through a competitive, merit-based process under the new Ocean Acidification Regional Vulnerability Assessment Competition. OSU has been at the forefront of ocean acidification research nationally. Coastal communities and the fishing industry are uniquely vulnerable to ocean acidification, especially the 3,200 people employed in the West Coast shellfish industry.

“Oregon’s economy depends on the health of our oceans and coastal communities,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “Ocean acidification threatens our valuable fisheries and thousands of jobs. Thankfully scientists at Oregon State University are leading the way in understanding this challenge and how we can best address it. I am grateful to OSU for investing in research that will directly benefit coastal communities and help us better understand and respond to ocean acidification.”

“Ocean acidification is one of the earliest signs of climate change, and the Pacific Northwest is already feeling its effects on our dwindling shellfish stocks,” said Senator Wyden. “Our region is a “canary in the coal mine” for these very real environmental challenges, but thankfully, Oregon State University is leading impressive research to better understand and mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification on ecosystems as well as Oregon’s coastal economy.”

“Oregon’s economic health is tied to our ocean’s health—in order to preserve our region’s shellfish, recreation and tourism industries, we must take steps to protect against ocean acidification and other effects of climate change,” said Representative DeFazio. “These funds will help our top scientists at OSU continue to lead in the research and response to this challenge.”

“The Pacific Northwest has much to lose when it comes to ocean acidification,” said Representative Blumenauer. “With OSU’s leadership and strong federal support, we will better learn to address this pressing challenge.”

“Oregon State University scientists are on the forefront of finding solutions to our most complex marine challenges,” said Cynthia Sagers, Vice President of Research for Oregon State University. “Through this grant support from NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, OSU scientists will take an interdisciplinary approach to advance further understanding of the complex social, economic, and environmental issues associated with ocean acidification and the shellfish industry to help inform practical and impactful methods of adaptation."