Efforts to Establish Blue Carbon Markets Underway
Blue carbon is the carbon captured and stored in coastal ecosystems (marshes, mangroves, and seagrass beds). Acre for acre, these habitats can store up to five times more carbon than tropical rainforests. A Massachusetts research reserve (Waquoit Bay) recently led the development of a protocol to be used to make salt marsh restoration eligible for international carbon markets. The Waquoit Bay team came to Oregon’s South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to participate in a series of workshops and meetings focused on 1) regional salt marsh capacity for carbon sequestration, 2) carbon markets, and 3) how scientists could prepare on-the-ground surveys to better understand and quantify carbon stocks and sinks in the estuaries of Washington, Oregon, and northern California.
These exchanges led to the formation of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Blue Carbon Working Group for the study of coastal blue carbon as an ecosystem service that could be used to generate funding to support wetland restoration and conservation. (2016)
Partners: NOAA Office for Coastal Management, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve