A Key Staffer at Washington Sea Grant Weighs in on GOH’s Role in Washington’s Blue Ribbon Panel
Dr. Meg Chadsey, now Ocean Acidification Project Specialist at Washington Sea Grant, witnessed the crucial role Global Ocean Health (GOH) played on Washington State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification (OA).
In November of 2011, Chadsey coordinated the Symposium on Ocean Acidification, bringing together scientists, policy makers, and industry and community members who were concerned about the potential impacts of OA. The stage was set, but it was Brad Warren of GOH and others who “capitalized on the energy generated by the symposium, and helped lay the groundwork for Washington’s Blue Ribbon Panel,” says Chadsey.
When former Governor Gregoire announced that she would create the panel in December 2012, she did not allocate funding for its work. GOH stepped in again, securing funds to help support Chadsey’s position as coordinator of the panel and her role working with scientists on the panel to create the scientific summary.
Chadsey recalls, “As GOH’s representative on the panel, Brad was an influential member,” able to “listen and synthesize multiple perspectives, then connect the dots in new ways to propose win-win solutions.” Brad served as co-chair of the Mitigation and Adaptation workgroup on the panel and was active on several others. He “brought a deep background and diverse knowledge of options to the panel,” notes Chadsey, “raising issues, but volunteering to help resolve them.” When the panel’s work faltered from lack of reliable information on ways to locally reduce drivers and consequences of acidification, GOH secured funding and commissioned science writer Eric Scigliano to create a report on OA mitigation and remediation options, called Sweetening the Waters. As Scigliano researched the project, his findings were fed into the panel’s deliberations, helping discouraged panel members find ways to get a grip on the problem. For example, when panel members were stuck on how to address excess nutrients in Puget Sound without upsetting farmers, Brad was able to point the panel to the Tulalip Tribe’s successful project redirecting dairy waste into biogas production as an example of a win-win solution.
Chadsey has since continued her work on OA, managing communication and outreach on the issue for Washington Sea Grant. GOH maintains a strong working relationship with Chadsey and Washington Sea Grant, collaborating closely to carry forward new projects on OA.