| ||From left to right: Alex Wall, Leila Monroe, Chris Dennett, Brian Baird, Judith Albert, Amy Grondin, Trevor Winnie. Click to enlarge.|
On September 12, E2 Pacific Northwest presented "The Acid Test", an EcoSalon devoted to ocean acidification: a global, largely invisible threat to ocean ecosystems and the economies that depend on them. Ocean acidification is yet another consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide: atmospheric carbon diffuses into ocean waters and drives chemical reactions that negatively impact organisms across the food chain.
The lead speaker was Congressman Brian Baird
(D-WA), who during his tenure in the House was Chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment and a leading voice for addressing ocean acidification. Representative Baird gave an inspiring presentation, calling this issue an "existential threat" to life on Earth and pointing to acidification as a powerful cause-and-effect argument in favor of carbon control.
NRDC was represented by Staff Attorney Leila Monroe
, Oceans Program specialist from the San Francisco office. Amy Grondin
, owner and operator of the salmon tender Duna, provided a "fishing boots on the ground" perspective that was both moving and expert. Like Bill Dewey, who represented Taylor Shellfish Farms at the Seattle presentation of "The Acid Test" in July, for Ms. Grondin, it's personal.
In her presentation, she highlighted the importance of small ocean creatures such as pteropods and showed how rapidly their disappearance will affect our food supply. These amazingly agile swimmers, who can move the human equivalent of a half-mile with a flick of their tails, support a huge proportion of the seafood we enjoy such as Dungeness crab, lobster, and many other fish and shellfish. As a commercial fisherman, Ms. Grondin clearly understood that if they go, so does her entire livelihood and a major source of human nutrition.
The event also featured a screening of the NRDC short film "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification", narrated and promoted
by actress Sigourney Weaver.
"The Acid Test" was well attended and generated intense interest, with many attendees expressing appreciation for the presentations and networking with the speakers before and after the formal event. Attendees reflected a Who's Who of concerned groups, including representatives from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Oceana, Oregon oceans coalition Our Oceans, Surfrider, the Oregon Environmental Council, the VOIS Alliance, and U of O Law's Environmental and Natural Resources program. Students from the University of Oregon's main campus in Eugene also participated by teleconference.
E2 Pacific Northwest commends attendees for polishing off no less than 10 bushels of fresh oysters, and thanks to Taylor Shellfish Farms
for generously providing them!
The event was held in Portland at the University of Oregon's White Stag Block. E2 PacNW thanks our co-sponsors: The University of Oregon School of Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program (ENR)
, Business Leaders for Climate Solutions
, and Voice for Oregon Innovation and Sustainability (VOIS)
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