Legal Issues Affecting Blue Carbon Projects on Publicly-Owned Coastal Wetlands

Restoration projects in coastal wetlands can provide a range of benefits for habitat and ecosystems, including by increasing sequestration of “blue carbon.” Coastal wetland restoration projects that effectively sequester carbon and meet the requirements of the voluntary carbon market can generate tradeable carbon offsets. However, there is currently no explicit mandate or legal model for such projects on publicly-owned wetlands. This study begins to provide a framework for project design by identifying legal considerations for blue carbon offset projects on public coastal wetlands.

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This study is a product of the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program. This study was prepared by Restore America’s Estuaries and the Marine Affairs Institute using Federal funds under awards NA16NMF4630113 from NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce.