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Cap and Trade Funded Coastal Wetland Restoration-Carbon Sequestration Projects: Examples from California and the US Northeast
Watson, E., E. Powell, L. Champlin, M. Fountain, AND C. Wigand. Cap and Trade Funded Coastal Wetland Restoration-Carbon Sequestration Projects: Examples from California and the US Northeast. Society for Ecological Restoration, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA, September 24 - 28, 2019.
Wetlands provide many benefits including habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, and water quality maintenance. Another benefit of wetlands is to capture carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Wetlands store some of this captured carbon in the soil. Long-term storage of carbon in wetland soils is one method to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In some US states management efforts are underway to restore and improve long-term storage of carbon in wetlands as one approach to mitigate for greenhouse gas emissions. The California carbon market and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative program between ten northeastern states, have provided support for coupled coastal wetland restoration and carbon storage projects. Researchers at Drexel University and the National Estuarine Research Reserves are partnering to examine the coupling of restoration efforts and long-term carbon storage as a practical approach for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
There are two active carbon markets in the United States – the California market and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative program between ten northeastern states. Both cap and trade programs have provided funding for coupled coastal wetland restoration – carbon sequestration projects. Using case studies from California and New Jersey, this presentation will discuss how funding from these programs is linked with restoration projects. This presentation will cover the stoichiometry between carbon sequestration and the emission of other greenhouse gases in coastal wetlands, identify synergies between restoration and carbon sequestration opportunities, and discuss how permanency issues (self-sustaining or requiring maintenance) are being addressed.