Gauging Public Perceptions of Ocean Acidification in Alaska

Lauren Frisch

The Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC) has a number of ongoing projects working to better understand how ocean chemistry in Alaska waters is vulnerable to acidification from of a host of regional stressors.  As addressed in the Ocean Acidification Sensitivity Index (OASI), ocean acidification (OA) has important implications in Alaska because of potential impacts on the fishing industry. The purpose of this project is to better understand public perception in Alaska of OA, ocean health, and related research and policy.
 
A random public survey assessed public perception of ocean threats, the basic level of understanding of ocean and climate related issues, and support for ocean-related research and policy. Results will be used to strategize public outreach at OARC. In conjunction with the OA Sensitivity Index we will determine gaps in the public understanding of OA and identify where and how to focus outreach and education initiatives. Collectively, this information will direct ACCAP and OARC on how to best communicate with communities and commercial fishing interests to prepare for future ocean changes.  
 
Results of this study published in a peer reviewed journal article are available here.