Graham Sustainability Institute

Feasibility Planning for Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Finance Projects

October 2018

Tidal wetlands play an important role in carbon sequestration by capturing a substantial amount of carbon—termed “blue carbon”—and storing it below ground. Since the Verified Carbon Standard first released a draft “Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration” in 2013, members of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Blue Carbon Working Group have been working to fill blue carbon data gaps to facilitate the application of this methodology to the conservation and restoration of Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands. This includes data collection and database development efforts, such as the Pacific Northwest blue carbon stocks and database project supported by the Science Collaborative.

This catalyst project takes the next step by demonstrating the feasibility of including carbon finance in funding strategies that support the conservation and restoration of tidal wetlands, eelgrasses, and coastal lowland sea level rise buffer areas in the Pacific Northwest. By evaluating the viability of blue carbon projects at two sites in Washington (Snohomish and Skagit Estuaries) and one in Oregon (Coos Estuary), the project team is advancing local stakeholders’ understanding of next steps for blue carbon management and financing opportunities for land management actions in coastal communities.