Banner Photo: Mussels are a bivalve that can be affected by lower pH values. (Credit: Aroha Miller)

New 2020 Article

2020 Rating

2020 Rationale

Ocean acidification has direct impacts on marine species and habitats. A lack of data exists for Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound, although monitoring is being implemented to address this gap.

The following is an excerpt from the full updated article. Download the full 2020 article for all content and references.

Ocean Acidification

Authors:  Jeff Marliave, Senior Research Scientist, Howe Sound Conservation and Research Team, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Laura Borden, Research Biologist, Howe Sound Conservation and Research Team, Ocean Wise Research Institute

Reviewer: Christopher Harley, Professor, Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia

Excerpt from the 2020 article

Ocean acidification refers to a decrease in pH of oceanic waters. Globally, ocean pH tends to be greater than 8.0. The northeast Pacific Ocean, with its large river inputs and upwelling of deep water, tends to have a lower pH, i.e., it is more acidic compared to the open ocean.

Since 2015, water quality measurements have been collected at two locations in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound – Ḵw’émḵw’em/Defence Island and Nínich Ḵw’émḵw’em sponge reef and Skwákwtsa7s/ Popham Island – at depths of 10 to 25 m.

Examining these results alongside ocean water samples measured in Burrard Inlet at 20 m depth shows the need for decadal length time series to identify real declines in pH and distinguish them from seasonal patterns and the effects of deep-water flushing events in the Salish Sea. Monitoring of water quality continues and will eventually provide a more comprehensive picture of acidity in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound on a decadal or longer time scale.

Read the full article to see what else is happening.

Background: Sunset in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe . (Credit: Tracey Saxby)

What can you do?

A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities.

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