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State updates plan to tackle ocean acidification

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Workers harvest oysters in the Puget Sound, an estuary with increasingly acidic water that threatens Washington state's shellfish industry. (Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times)

SEATTLE — A new state report says ocean acidification is getting worse in Washington state but new scientific advances and efforts are helping to address the problem.

The report released Wednesday updates a strategic plan launched five years ago to address rising acidity levels in the ocean that threatens shellfish and other marine life.

The report says new research is shedding light into the sources, scale and impacts of ocean acidification in Washington’s marine waters.

KNKX reports that people are also taking steps to lessen to adapt and lessen the impacts. An extensive monitoring system now helps shellfish hatcheries predict when and where more acidic water is coming in. And researchers are looking at ways to grow kelp and eelgrass to buffer the impacts of more corrosive local waters.

Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement the state must keep up the momentum on a problem that threatens shellfish and fisheries.

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