Leading the discussion for coastal wetlands mitigating climate change

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation served as our venue during Day 1 of the BCN Meeting.

In 2018, Restore America’s Estuaries convened the second meeting of the Blue Carbon National Working Group (BCN) in Annapolis, Maryland for two days of learning and networking.

The BCN is composed of state and federal government officials, academic researchers, market experts, restoration practitioners, and nonprofit representatives all working to advance blue carbon. Since 2010, RAE has been leading a national blue carbon initiative, working collaboratively with our partners to increase recognition for coastal wetlands and the role they have in mitigating climate change. RAE and the BCN also discuss ways to develop resources to connect restoration to the carbon market and explores policy options for increasing the prioritization of wetland conservation.

Attended by more than 40 experts in their field, this meeting combined in-classroom presentations discussing progress made in the field of blue carbon, with a site visit to the local Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Global Change Research Wetland. Here attendees witnessed ongoing marsh greenhouse gas research that has been going on for nearly 30 years.

These two days saw a wonderful meeting of minds, and all attendees emerged with a renewed sense of hope (and next steps) to recognizing these amazing wetland habitats for all the benefits they provide us – especially carbon storage!

I especially love hearing how the BCN benefits the participants and influences them to keep working hard:

“The working group meeting was awesome. You [RAE] afforded me an amazing opportunity to meet other like-minded professionals and begin networking with them for a blue carbon future. I’m extremely grateful and very much look forward to future partnerships and amazing opportunities.” – Rob Tunstead, USDA-NCRS

“The Blue Carbon National Working Group meeting brought together all-stars in research, policy, carbon markets, and conservation to brainstorm how to advance blue carbon as mechanism to restore coastal wetlands and help us in the fight against climate change.” – Scott Settelmyer, TerraCarbon, LLC

“It was invigorating to discuss the progress the blue carbon community has made in recent years, and I found it very affirming to connect with existing colleagues and meet some new faces as well. Restore America’s Estuaries offers us the chance to get together and collectively discuss growing opportunities and interest in blue carbon projects in the U.S. and around the world.” – Ariana Sutton-Grier, The Nature Conservancy MD/DC Chapter

Check out our 2018 Accomplishments Report to learn more about we Share Our Expertise.

Stefanie Simpson is the Blue Carbon Program senior director at Restore America’s Estuaries.

The 2018 Blue Carbon National Working Group Meeting was hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, with funding provided by NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation and the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation.

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