Webinar: Introduction to the Blue Carbon Calculator, a simple tool for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission accounting for ecosystem restoration projects
WHEN: Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 2pm – 3pm EST
REGISTER online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1791643579190545924
The Blue Carbon Calculator estimates fluxes in GHG emissions from changes in coastal, riverine, and inland wetland ecosystems. The Calculator is an easy-to-use spreadsheet intended to help restoration practitioners and other users incorporate GHG considerations into the process of selecting and prioritizing future aquatic ecosystem restoration projects.
This webinar will cover:
- Coastal restoration and ecosystem services quantification
- Climate change action planning and the role of blue carbon and coastal restoration in climate change adaption and mitigation
- What is the Blue Carbon Calculator and how does it work
- Blue carbon policy implications and next steps
Tim Purinton is the Director of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER). DER was created in 2009 to meet the need for a statewide, ecological-based restoration program.
Nick Wildman is a Restoration Specialist for the Mass Division of Ecological Restoration. Nick is a project manager on eight restoration projects and leads the Division’s research on economic impacts of ecological restoration.
This free webinar is brought to you by Restore America’s Estuaries “Blue Carbon in Practice” webinar series, with funding support from NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation.
New to blue carbon? Check out our archived webinars to learn more about this new and evolving ecosystem service – www.estuaries.org/bluecarbon-webinars.
Coastal wetlands are on the forefront of climate change impacts, susceptible to sea level rise and stress from direct human activity, with potential impacts on carbon sequestration as well as other critical ecosystem services. Robust approaches to accounting for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or removals associated with human activities (including wetlands ecosystem restoration and climate change response actions) are currently under development. As GHG accounting approaches improve, more effective policies for coastal carbon management – also known as “blue carbon” – can be established.
If planned correctly, efforts to restore coastal and riverine ecosystems can reduce GHG emissions as well as improve other ecosystem service benefits that increase resiliency to changes in rainfall, sea level rise, and other climate change impacts (Crooks et al. 2014). It is important to keep in mind that changes to GHG emissions are only one of a suite of ecosystem services which result when degraded ecosystems are improved, enhanced, or restored. Creation of new freshwater wetlands for example, if converted from uplands can result, in an increase in methane production. However, the restoration of freshwater wetlands is important for many reasons including water filtration, stormwater storage, and habitat improvement. And, as sea levels rise, freshwater wetlands are increasingly important along the Massachusetts coast as migration areas for salt marshes as sea level rises. The intent of this analysis is to develop a better understanding of one important ecosystem service, not prioritize all restoration efforts around GHG emissions impacts.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is taking a leadership role as one of the first states to invest in tools specific to the evaluation of fluxes in GHG emissions associated with the management of coastal, riverine, and inland wetlands. The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (MassDER) in the Department of Fish and Game has implemented over 100 aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, restoring 1,582 acres of coastal and near coastal wetlands and removing 40 dams, restoring aquatic system connectivity and ecological processes (Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2015).
For purpose of this presentation, “Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Projects” include freshwater and saltwater wetland and river restoration efforts. Not included in the analyses are certain types of freshwater restoration such as vernal pool, lake and pond enhancement efforts or near-shore restoration such as eel grass or shellfish, although these restoration project types may be added later as the Calculator is revised. The goal of this presentation is to describe an initial methodology and Blue Carbon Calculator for estimation of fluxes in GHG emissions from coastal, riverine, and inland wetland ecosystems in Massachusetts. The Calculator is an easy-to-use spreadsheet intended to help MassDER and other users incorporate GHG considerations into the process of selecting and prioritizing future aquatic ecosystem restoration projects.
For more information, please contact ”
Blue Carbon Program Coordinator
Restore America’s Estuaries
703-524-0248 ext 6