Coastal Blue Carbon Program
Learn the Basics
Blue carbon is the ability of tidal wetlands and seagrass habitats to capture and store carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
An investment in wetland restoration supports many important benefits, including carbon capture, improved water quality, critical marine habitat, and increased resiliency through storm and flood protection.
What to know about blue carbon:
- An investment in wetland restoration results in many important benefits to a community, including blue carbon storage (aka climate mitigation), improved water quality, critical marine habitat, and storm and flood mitigation (resiliency).
- Wetlands act as amazing "carbon sponges" but can release that stored carbon when drained or degraded.
- Wetland restoration offers a place-based approach to addressing rising atmospheric carbon levels while also providing many benefits to the local community.
Check out blue carbon science in action in our new blue carbon short, filmed in the Snohomish Estuary in Puget Sound, WA, with local member group EarthCorps.
RAE is leading the U.S. effort to advance blue carbon by:
- Advancing science and understanding on carbon sequestration, storage, and loss occurring in wetland habitats. (Check out our landmark 2014 Snohomish Estuary Blue Carbon Assessment)
- Piloting entry of coastal wetlands into the voluntary carbon market.
- Building capacity and raising awareness in coastal communities through our webinars and workshops.
- Developing tools and resources to use blue carbon as a conservation tool
- Coordinating national and regional working groups to increase collaboration on blue carbon research and projects.
Learn more about blue carbon:
- Understand the science of how blue carbon can mitigate climate change
- Learn how Blue Carbon can be used to finance wetland restoration through carbon markets and how a landmark protocol developed by RAE and Silvestrum allows coastal wetlands globally to generate carbon finance on the carbon market. Read more here.
- Blue Carbon could be integrated into existing policies and regulations to benefit wetland conservation.
- Gain a better understanding of how blue carbon can be used as a conservation tool with our Template for Understanding Blue Carbon Options.