Adapting to Ocean Climate Change

Our oceans, coastlines, and coastal communities disproportionately feel the effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in water temperature, acidification, and oxygen levels threaten their physical, economic, and food security. Global businesses that rely on our oceans for their livelihood are also impacted.
Protecting Marine Wildlife and Ecosystems
To address these concerns, we’re focusing on improving the awareness of coral decline, advancing science using human-assisted coral evolution, and testing ways to improve ocean health. We’re working to alleviate, adapt to, and prevent damage by implementing a number of unique strategies.

Reducing Levels of Ocean Acidification

In the Pacific Northwest, oysters and other calcifying creatures have difficulty creating shells. Meanwhile, around the globe, coral reefs are bleaching in the face of increased ocean acidification. Our grantees are exploring innovative solutions that could help offset the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems.

Kelp Cultivation Project

As greenhouse gases increase, so do acidification levels of ocean waters around the Pacific Northwest. This research project investigates the potential of kelp to absorb carbon from ocean water to mitigate effects of ocean acidification and provide critical habitat for sensitive organisms. Since controlling global gas emissions is a much larger challenge, we’re focusing on understanding different approaches to mitigating the problem locally and scaling these efforts so they can be applied in other regions.*

Puget Sound Restoration Fund, Hood Canal Mariculture, Pacific Marine Environmental LabsManchester Research Station, UW Ocean Acidification Center, Washington Department of Resources, Washington Sea Grant, U.S. Navy

Human-Assisted Coral Evolution

This groundbreaking scientific research is producing heat-resilient coral through breeding and conditioning techniques. In the first five years, the project propagated corals that outperformed purebreds in simulated future ocean conditions.*

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology


Driving Global Awareness

Because so few people see firsthand the impact climate change is having on coral reef health, we believe films can help tell the story to a global audience. Ultimately, our goal is for the resulting increased awareness to change personal behavior and lead to systemic changes that prioritize the protecting coral reefs while positively impacting ocean health.

“Reef Rescue”

This film presents the inspiring stories of scientists who are leading cutting-edge research in coral reef preservation. These personal stories boost public understanding, increase urgency, and create engagement to support promising solutions.

Merit Motion Pictures, Films a Cinq, CBC, ARTE

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