The legislature finds that the levels of acidification in ocean waters, including Washington's coastal and Puget Sound waters, are increasing at an alarming rate, and that the increase in acidity in ocean waters is primarily human caused. Ocean acidification is caused both by increased absorption by seawater of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and coastal and estuarine waters may be additionally affected by pollutants in runoff from land-based activities. Ocean acidification harms a broad spectrum of the marine ecosystem and is particularly harmful to organisms such as shellfish that are "calcifiers" and unable to form durable shells and other hard body parts in corrosive acidic water conditions. Mitigating ocean acidification is vital to maintaining the state's strong shellfish industry, which generates an estimate 3000 direct and indirect jobs and two hundred and seventy million dollars annually to the states economy.
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