Protecting Coastal Communities

Our work is not limited to growing new jobs, but also to preventing economic loss. The Pacific Coast experienced the earliest climate impacts in our oceans, with ocean acidification leading to devastating losses in the region’s shellfish industry. The PCC states, province, and cities are working together on a coordinated approach to ocean acidification monitoring and research, which has allowed our local seafood industry to adapt and recover. The region’s jurisdictions also formed the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, a network working together to elevate the issue of ocean acidification within international climate agreements and develop action plans to mitigate causes of acidification, adapt to unavoidable change, and build resiliency in marine ecosystems and the coastal communities.


West Coast OAH Monitoring Network

In 2016, the Joint OAH Monitoring Task Force, a partnership of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) and federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification (IWG-OA), embarked on an undertaking to inventory the OAH monitoring infrastructure on the West Coast from California through Alaska. The collaboration sets the stage for an important gaps analysis: to develop a comprehensive list of OAH-relevant field research and monitoring efforts documenting chemical, physical, and biological trends all along the coast. This analysis will ultimately inform the design of a West Coast Integrated OAH Monitoring network and the subsequent strategic monitoring investments required to build it.

To collect this information the PCC and the IWG-OA called on the monitoring and research communities of the West Coast states, the province of British Columbia, and the state of Alaska, to contribute information to the inventory and help capture monitoring efforts that inform trends in OAH or its impacts on organisms or ecosystems. Thanks to the significant participation from the monitoring and research communities across the region, the inventory now contains over records from over 125 participants describing over 200 projects from the Arctic to Baja California, and everywhere in between.

OA Alliance

At current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the oceans are on course to a 100 percent increase in acidity by later this century, with staggering economic implications to marine systems and coastal economies worldwide in an ocean with no boundaries. The PCC founded the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification to address ocean acidification on a global scale. The Alliance has brought together cities, states, provinces, countries, Tribes, researchers, businesses and NGO’s – over 70 members – to share information on how they can enact policies to respond to local impacts of acidification and reduce local and global emissions to protect businesses, communities and the environment. Together, OA Alliance members are:

  • Pushing for inclusion of strong ocean protection provisions in international climate agreements and other relevant frameworks; and
  • Developing OA Action Plans that contain practicable steps to mitigate causes, adapt to unavoidable change and build resiliency in marine ecosystems and the coastal communities impacted by changing ocean conditions.