OSU, Whiskey Creek get money to combat shellfish acidification

Oregon State University has landed six-digits worth of funds to help the state’s shellfish companies fight against ocean acidification.

The $250,000 alloted through House Bill 5008, a general fund appropriations bill, will aim to help OSU improve the resilience of oyster larvae to ocean acidification. The money will also help the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, on Netarts Bay, try to find better ways to manage the negative effects of ocean acidification on shellfish larvae.

Whiskey Creek’s Alan Barton told an industry group Wednesday night that shellfish production has become a “canary in the coal mine” in terms of the ways carbon can infiltrate the atmosphere and, subsequently, the ocean.

Sen. Betsy Johnson, a Scappoose Democrat who caught fire for casting deciding votes against continuing Oregon’s clean fuels program and increasing disclosures of toxic chemicals in children’s toys, pushed for the shellfish funds.

The award is one of several environmental components within the bill. Among other provisions, lawmakers also awarded $80,000 to the Columbia River Gorge Commission to study urban planning issues inside the Columbia River Gorge.

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