Ocean acidification threatening Wash. sea life

PORT ANGELES — Acidification of the world’s oceans could have a profound effect on the North Olympic Peninsula, a panel of experts told Clallam County commissioners Monday.

Caused by carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, ocean acidification can destroy shells of crabs, clams, oysters and scores of creatures at the bottom of the food chain.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and outer coast of Washington are particularly vulnerable because acidic water is upwelled off the coast every spring and summer.

The state supports 42,000 jobs in the seafood industry.

“There is no silver bullet,” said panelist Eric Swenson, Seattle-based communications and outreach director for the Global Ocean Health Program.

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