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Business leaders object to creating ocean acidity council

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm with No Comments »
February 14, 2013 4:04 pm

ruston way anglersBusiness leaders in Washington say they oppose creating a state advisory council to deal with ocean acidification, a problem that fishermen and environmental groups argue is hurting the state’s oyster-fishing industry.

Crosscut has the full story about Senate Bill 5547, which is sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island.

According to Crosscut’s report, scientists say the ocean’s rising acidity level is killing off billions of oyster larvae in Oregon and Washington. A 2012 Blue Ribbon panel organized by former Gov. Chris Gregoire attributed the increasing acidity levels to industrial pollution and water runoff.

But representatives from the Association of Washington Business and the Washington Farm Bureau said Wednesday that the new advisory council proposed by Ranker’s bill wouldn’t adequately represent business interests. Plus, there’s no hard proof that local industrial activity is contributing to the rising acidity levels, they said.

Ranker’s bill would create the Washington Marine Resources Protection Council, which would advise the governor on protecting ocean resources and help implement the recommendations of last year’s ocean acidity panel.

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