What Is Mudflat Acidification?
Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide is absorbed by water, causing the pH and calcium carbonate concentration to drop.
As a result of the rise of fossil fuel emissions, ocean pH is changing worldwide. More specifically, in the northern coast of the United States, like in Maine’s mudflats, have high levels of ocean acidification; thus, creating mudflat acidification.
Seaside Sustainability Initiatives
Seaside Sustainability partners with Salem Sound Coastwatch to measure the effects that carbon dioxide has on the mudflats that surround the North Shore. Our Mudflat Acidification Testing project takes place in Manchester, Essex, and Gloucester. We monitor the acidity in mudflats to determine if and how carbon dioxide absorption by the ocean is affecting these ecosystems and how we can do to balance the pH levels if necessary.
Salem Sound Coastwatch is a non-profit coastal watershed organization that works with government agencies, businesses, other non-profit organizations and citizens, through municipal partnering, scientific investigation, education, and stewardship.
SSCW Partner: Barbara Warren,
Effects of Acidification
Lower aquatic calcium carbonate levels interfere with shell formation in shellfish, which will hinder the growth of shellfish population and eventually cause food shortage in marine ecosystem. There is evidence that acidification has affected coral reefs in Florida as well. All these effects also impact local communities whose economies depend on these marine resources.
It is not too late to prevent acidification. We can reduce it by cutting carbon pollution, such as reducing man-made carbon dioxide emissions and minimizing plastic usage. Most importantly, we can put an end to mudflat acidification if we educate others and raise public awareness about the problem.