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Mudflats are coastal environments that serve as habitat for many shellfish and are a key factor in reducing erosion. However, mudflats are increasingly becoming less productive and uninhabitable at alarming rates due to fossil fuel emissions. As a result of the rise of fossil fuel emissions, carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, causing the pH and calcium carbonate concentration to drop, creating ocean, and therefore mudflat, acidification. This process results in a lot of negative consequences towards the environment, and at Seaside Sustainability, we try our best to battle these problems.
Mudflat Acidification Testing
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 balance the pH levels if necessary.
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 ecosystems. 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.
Ways to Prevent Acidification
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.
Join us and learn how to collect valuable data on pH, salinity, and temperature to understand how CO2 levels are interacting with the water.
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.