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OSU researchers look into what's affecting sea life in coastal waters

Oregon State University hypoxia research
Francis Chan
Oregon State University hypoxia research

Researchers are using a $4.2 million grant to learn more about what’s hurting marine life off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.

Jack Barth is the executive director leading the Marine Studies Initiative at Oregon State University. He says water temperature and quality are leading stressors.

“How do these organisms deal with a heating ocean, an ocean that's becoming more acidic. We're lowering the oxygen in the water." Barth told KLCC. "So we call that hypoxia, where the organisms literally can't breathe, and either die off or have to get away quickly.”

Project lead is Francis Chan, director of the Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystem and Resource Studies at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. He says this grant will be instrumental.

“The funding really allows us to connect the dots." Chan said. "We’re going to pull a lot of pieces of information together in ways that we haven’t been able to.”

Chan says he eventually hopes to be able to better prepare local fisheries for the marine effects of climate change.

©2022, KLCC.

Jasmine Lewin was a freelance reporter in 2022 and 2023. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Lewin wrote for the University of Oregon quarterly magazine Ethos before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
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