As ocean gets more acidic, situation is exacerbated in Puget SoundPublic Radio International PRIThe carbon dioxide we release is absorbed by the Earth's oceans. But it doesn't just benignly vanish.
"In Puget Sound we see that same impact as we see in the open ocean but we also have other combined impacts that are part of the natural local processes in our region," he explained.
The local processes Feeley’s talking about starts in the ocean with tiny organisms that live near the surface and absorb CO2 from the air. When they die, they sink to the bottom and release that CO2. But that acidic water doesn’t stay down there. Ocean currents push it up and toward the shore in a process called coastal upwelling, eventually flowing into Puget Sound.
In the sound, that water tends to stick around longer than on the outer coast, making Puget Sound significantly more acidic than the open ocean. ...
The algae thrive on the nitrates and phosphorous from our wastewater treatment plants, leaky septic tanks and runoff from fertilized lawns and agricultural lands. Krembs says over the past decade there’s been a steady and significant increase in nutrient levels in Puget Sound.