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Ocean Acidification Task Force

The NY Ocean Acidification Task Force will hold its first meeting to work toward assessing impacts of acidification on the ecological, economic, and recreational health of New York's coastal waters, identifying contributing factors, and recommending actions to reduce and address negative impacts. The Task Force's meeting will take place on Thursday, November 1 at Stony Brook University South Campus, 120 Endeavour Hall, from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Unhealthy pteropod showing effects of ocean acidification including
ragged, dissolving shell ridges on upper surface, a cloudy shell in
lower right quadrant , and severe abrasions and weak spots
at 6:30 position on lower whorl of shell. Photo credit: NOAA

Click here to view a printable flyer for the Ocean Acidification Task Force meeting. (PDF)

Ocean acidification in the coastal waters of New York is the result of greenhouse gas emissions combined with polluted runoff from land. This causes the formation of carbonic acid which makes the ocean increasingly acidic. This acidity can adversely affect many of the marine animals that call this environment home. Unfortunately, the current rate of change of ocean acidification is faster than any time on record and New York's ocean and coastal water environment has the potential to be particularly vulnerable.

The Ocean Acidification (OA) Task Force was established to ensure that the best available science is used to assess and respond to this emerging threat to New York's marine waters and fisheries. The task force will produce a report and action plan to identify how to:

  • Mitigate: What can New York State do to reduce acidification in the water surrounding its coast, the Mid-Atlantic Bight, and the global oceans?
  • Adapt: How can we minimize negative impacts of the inevitable changes on New Yorkers?

Additionally, the New York Ocean Action Plan (PDF) has dedicated steps to combat Ocean Acidification (Action 15) and increase the resilience of ocean resources to impacts associated with climate change.

All are welcome to observe as the Task Force introduces its members, reviews the purpose of the ocean acidification legislation, and hears from ocean acidification experts. The public will also have an opportunity to comment on the proceedings. Read more about the task force in the full press release.

Task Force Members

The OA Task Force is comprised of eleven appointed members, including experts in climatology, hydrology, economics, marine fisheries, aquaculture, oceanography, and ecology. As per the legislation that created the task force, these members have been appointed by Governor Cuomo, the State Senate, the State Assembly, New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as representatives of the New York State Department of State and the Office of General Services.

As the lead agency, DEC's appointee, James Gennaro, will be chair. The OA Task Force's efforts will be supported by DEC's Division of Marine Resources in East Setauket and faculty of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University.

James Gennaro, Chair
Deputy Commissioner, NYC Resiliency & Sustainability
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Appointing Authority: Commissioner of DEC
John K. McLaughlin
Managing Director
Office of Ecosystem Services
NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection
Appointing Authority: Mayor of NYC
Todd Gardner
Leader, Green Procurement Team
NYS Office of General Services
Appointing Authority: Commissioner of OGS
Jeff Herter
Division of Community Resilience and Regional Programs
Office of Planning & Development
NYS Dept. of State
Appointing Authority: Secretary of State
Marci Bortman
Director of Conservation Programs
The Nature Conservancy
Appointing Authority: Governor
R. Lawrence Swanson, Ph.D.
Professor and Former Dean
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Appointing Authority: Governor
Appointing Authority: Temporary President of the Senate
Appointing Authority: Temporary President of the Senate
Malcolm J. Bowman, Ph.D.
Distinguished Service Professor
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Appointing Authority: Speaker of the Assembly
Carl Safina, Ph.D.
Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Director, Safina Center
Appointing Authority: Speaker of the Assembly
Jeremy Thornton
Former U.S. Navy SEAL
Strategic Markets Director
Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Appointing Authority: Minority Leader of the Senate
Appointing Authority: Minority Leader of the Assembly
David Gugerty
Chair, Bayville Environmental Conservation Commission
Democratic Commissioner
Nassau County Board of Elections
Appointing Authority: Nassau County Executive
Karen Rivara
Owner, Aeros Cultured Oyster Company
Former President, Long Island Farm Bureau
Appointing Authority: Suffolk County Executive