Coastal Summit set for next weekend in Long Beach


Rapidly changing ocean chemistry, earthquakes and tsunamis, the impacts of plastics on the ocean and other scientific topics are all on the agenda for public sessions Dec. 8 at the Coastal Summit in Long Beach.

The event, now in its third year, will include a meeting of the four coastal Marine Resource Committees to share knowledge and ideas with each other and the public and “build a network of informed and empowered coastal communities,” according to a news release.

Subjects and speakers are “Coastal Earthquakes” by Brian Atwater, geologist for the US Geological Survey and University of Washington research professor; “Ocean Acidification” by Shallin Busch, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration research ecologist; “Ocean Modeling” by UW oceanographers Neil Banas, Sarah Giddings and Samantha Siedlecki; “Plastics” by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and biologist Wally Davis; and “Ocean Abundance” by Oregon State University marine fisheries ecologist Selina Heppell.

“We have invited scientists who are pre-eminent in their fields to examine some of the most serious problems facing our oceans and the people who care for them,” said Coastal Summit coordinator Casey Dennehy of the Surfrider Foundation. “This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn about these topics and what role citizens can play in protecting our coast and achieving healthier seas.”

In addition, members of the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification will speak about their recently completed report. The 28-member group, appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in February 2012, is co-chaired by William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Jay Manning, former director of the state Department of Ecology.

Panel members participating in the Coastal Summit include state Rep. Brian Blake, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture; Betsy Peabody, president of Pacific Shellfish Institute; Brad Warren, director of the Global Ocean Health Program: and Shallin Busch, co-leader of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Laboratory.

The Coastal Summit will be held at the Cranberry Museum, 2907 Pioneer Road, Long Beach. A complete schedule with more information on the presentations is available at http://pacificcountymrc.com/coastal-mrc-summit-science-conference/.

The event is free to the public, but you must register online for guaranteed admission and to indicate free lunch preference, or at the door.