Establishing a Blue Carbon Network for the Gulf Coast

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Why this work?

The Gulf Coast continues to lose coastal wetlands at an alarming rate. In addition to improving water quality, stabilizing shorelines, and providing habitat, coastal wetlands sequester and store significant amounts of carbon in their soils. Valuation of this climate mitigation service-referred to as blue carbon- could lead to increased prioritization and funding for coastal conservation and restoration. Moreover, coastal managers are now being asked to consider the greenhouse gas management implications of their decisions. For example, when coastal ecosystems are degraded or drained, the carbon stored in their soils can be released back into the atmosphere, resulting in significant emissions. Emerging carbon markets could provide funding for wetland conservation and restoration, supporting the protection of these substantial carbon stores. 

About this project 

Restore America’s Estuaries is partnering with the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training Program Initiative and the five research reserves in the Gulf Coast to promote blue carbon projects. Through workshops planned around the Gulf, the project team will facilitate discussions about current needs and opportunities related to blue carbon. The project team will also help to establish local working groups and provide technical assistance through a targeted Gulf Coast blue carbon training workshop. The goal is to support new projects that advance local understanding of blue carbon science and help pilot ways to use emerging carbon markets to fund coastal wetland restoration and conservation.

Project lead and contact

Stephen Emmett-Mattox, Restore America’s Estuaries, Email: sem@estuaries.org

To learn more, view the project factsheet (PDF).