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Oysters at Risk From Ocean Acidification, as Are Farmer Livelihoods | Commentary

In late August, California announced the formation of a West Coast science panel that builds on the efforts of Washington state to respond to ocean acidification. In June, the Maine Legislature passed a resolution identifying acidification as a major threat to the state’s culture, economy and way of life.

This week, the XPRIZE Foundation announced a new prize to come up with better, cheaper, more accessible sensors to monitor acidification, which will greatly assist the states that want to implement these systems to assist their shellfish growers.

When we meet with our senators and representatives, we will urge them to fully fund the budget for research under the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act. In the past, our government has demonstrated that an effective process can be employed to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges by using research, science and innovation. We are hopeful that as we depart for our separate coasts, our efforts will have catalyzed this process, helping to ensure that your dinner plate will always have a half shell.

Margaret Pilaro Barrette is executive director of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. Bob Rheault is executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.

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