This presentation is part of the Cape Perpetua Speaker Series, hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative.

Changes to the global atmosphere result in regional shifts in Oregon’s nearshore ocean conditions. As ocean waters throughout the Pacific Basin become more acidified, the biogeochemistry of marine waters also changes along the thin ribbon of the Oregon coast and in bays and estuaries. These open coast and estuarine areas are inhabited by diverse communities of shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, abalone, crab, shrimp, sea stars sea urchins, and many others. The presentation will describe ocean acidification as an emerging threat to marine communities, provide a description of the potential impacts to commercially and recreationally valuable groups of shellfish, and characterize the capacity of living shorelines such as kelp beds and eelgrass to serve as a buffer to acidified marine waters.​

Steve Rumrill, Shellfish Program Leader, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, has state-wide responsibilities for management of a multi-faceted program that encompasses policy development, resource assessment surveys, commercial and recreational fisheries, scientific research, and outreach activities for a diverse group of shellfish that inhabit Oregon’s bays and estuaries, sandy beaches, rocky shores, sub-tidal reefs, and deep water habitats. Before joining the ODFW / Marine Resources Program, Steve served as the Chief Scientist and Research Coordinator for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (Charleston, OR).  He holds adjunct academic appointments at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University where he conducts scientific research in collaboration with faculty members, and serves as an advisor to graduate students. Steve received his master’s degree in Marine Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz (1984), and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Alberta (1987).


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