Restore America’s Estuaries is proud to announce we’ll be hosting a side event at this year’s US Climate Action Week to celebrate Earth Day and the U.S. rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. We’ll be joined by esteemed guests and leaders in the field of blue carbon science, finance, and policy to talk about how protecting these ecosystems can help reduce carbon emissions. For more information, please visit: https://www.theclimategroup.org/us-climate-action-week.
Protecting and restoring coastal wetlands can be a nature-based solution to climate change and a critical tool to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Because of the high productivity and rapid sedimentation in these areas, ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and sea grass beds can sequester carbon at rates up to ten times that of upland forests per unit area. That carbon is stored in the soils and can remain there for centuries, but only if the soils are preserved in their wetland state. They also provide myriad values to coastal communities in the form of protection from storm surge and sea level rise due to climate change, water filtration, and enhanced biodiversity. To fully take advantage of this important climate mitigation and adaptation tool, we must invest in the protection and restoration of these habitats. Most coastal wetlands in the US and around the world have already been lost at staggering rates, making it more important to protect what remains and restore what has been lost. The recent understanding of the role they play in trapping greenhouse gases, coupled with their economic and social values, makes their protection and restoration all the more valuable.
- Hilary Stevens, Coastal Resilience Manager – Restore America’s Estuaries
- Steve Crooks – Silvestrum Climate Associates,
- Emily Pidgeon – Conservation International,
- Tonna-Marie Surgeon-Rodgers – Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Maxine Sugarman – The Office of Representative Suzanne Bonamici