HJR 10: Supporting expanded research concerning the detrimental effects of ocean acidification.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 10 01 Supporting expanded research concerning the detrimental effects of ocean acidification. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS ocean waters and resources are vital to the economy, cultural identity, 04 and daily lives of many Alaskans; and 05 WHEREAS it is estimated that the seafood industry contributed a total of 06 $5,800,000,000 to the state's economic output in 2007, including an estimated $3,600,000,000 07 in wholesale value and $2,200,000,000 in indirect and induced economic output; and 08 WHEREAS Alaska is home to eight of the 20 largest seafood ports in the United 09 States; and 10 WHEREAS, in 2007, Alaska seafood accounted for more than 62 percent, by volume, 11 of the commercial seafood harvested in the United States; and 12 WHEREAS the seafood industry employs more workers than any other industry in 13 the state; and 14 WHEREAS tourism is a major economic engine in the state, with a direct economic 15 contribution that exceeds $1,600,000,000 annually and an induced effect that exceeds 16 $2,000,000,000 annually; and

01 WHEREAS tourism is the state's third largest private sector employer, supplying 02 more than 26,000 full time equivalent jobs; and 03 WHEREAS recreational fishing, whale watching, and other ocean-related activities 04 constitute critical sectors of the state's tourism industry; and 05 WHEREAS coastal residents of the state depend on ocean resources for subsistence, 06 recreation, and other uses; and 07 WHEREAS tourism, fishing, subsistence, and recreation are supported by healthy 08 ocean ecosystems; and 09 WHEREAS the world's oceans have absorbed more than a quarter of the carbon 10 dioxide released into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution; and 11 WHEREAS carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans has altered ocean chemistry, 12 making ocean surface water 30 percent more acidic on average than at the start of the 13 Industrial Revolution; and 14 WHEREAS the acidity of surface water could double by the end of this century if 15 current trends continue; and 16 WHEREAS the process of ocean acidification is accelerated in Arctic waters because 17 carbon dioxide is more soluble in cold water, and lower salinity diminishes the capacity of 18 oceans to buffer against acidification; there is evidence that ocean acidification is both more 19 severe and occurring more rapidly in the state's ocean waters than in tropical waters; and 20 WHEREAS the effects of ocean acidification could create conditions detrimental to 21 marine ecosystems in the state within decades; and 22 WHEREAS ocean acidification will affect the growth, reproduction, disease 23 resistance, and other biological and physiological processes of many marine organisms; and 24 WHEREAS ocean acidification threatens carbonate-forming species, such as coral, 25 shellfish, and many species of marine plankton, and changes to those species may cause 26 significant detrimental effects throughout marine ecosystems and food webs, affecting the 27 largest marine organisms and many commercial fisheries; and 28 WHEREAS plankton, which form the base of the marine food web, King, Tanner, 29 and Dungeness crab, deep-sea coral gardens, and pteropods, which serve as important prey for 30 whales, salmon, and other marine life, are all at risk because of the effects of ocean 31 acidification; and

01 WHEREAS the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, in its 2007 Aleutian 02 Islands Fishery Ecosystem Plan, highlighted ocean acidification as both very likely to occur 03 and likely to cause significant ecological and economic effects; and 04 WHEREAS, because there is a scarcity of relevant data necessary for assessing the 05 potential effects of ocean acidification in the state, the North Pacific Fishery Management 06 Council has recommended ocean acidification be a research priority; 07 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes that ocean 08 acidification is a threat to the state's marine ecosystems, tourism industry, and fisheries; and 09 be it 10 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the monitoring 11 and research that are necessary to study the effects of ocean acidification on the state's marine 12 ecosystem to determine potential effects on the state's economy and to assess opportunities to 13 address the effects of ocean acidification. 14 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of 15 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and 16 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of 17 Representatives; the Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the 18 Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. 19 Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National 20 Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski 21 and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 22 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.