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Phil Colarusso
US EPA
Blue Carbon
 Carbon that is associated with salt marsh, seagrass or
mangroves
 Species in these groups have high growth rates and
thus can absorb large quantities of CO2
 Carbon is sequestered in the sediments/soil for as long
as the habitat stays intact
Annual Carbon Sequestration Rates
 Mangroves: 0.13 to 24 Mg CO2e/ha/yr
 Salt Marsh: 0.01 to 63 Mg CO2e/ha/yr
 Seagrass: -76 to 85 Mg CO2e/ha/yr
 Tropical forests: -20.02 to 8 Mg CO2e/ha/yr
Importance of Seagrass
 Seagrass meadows are estimated to occupy less than
0.2% of the area of the world’s oceans, but account for
about 20% of the sequestered carbon on an annual
basis
Loss/degradation of Coastal
Wetlands
 Mangroves
 Globally losing 0.66%/yr
 Greatest losses are in Asia
 Salt Marsh
 Data in many geographic areas is scarce
 Globally estimated to be 1 to 2%/yr
 Seagrass
 Globally 1-3%/yr
Putting the losses in context
 Emissions that result from conversion and degradation
of coastal wetlands estimated to be between 300 to
900 million tons CO2e
 Roughly equivalent to the annual emissions from
energy and industry sectors for Poland and Germany
Seagrass stressors
 Reductions in water clarity/eutrophication
 Piers/wharfs/moorings
 Dredging
 Invasive species
 Trawling/shellfishing
What you can do
 Reduce nitrogen
 Cut fertilizer use
 Eat lower on the food chain
 Mass transit/increased fuel efficiency
 Limit/reduce impervious surface
 Avoid farmed shrimp
 Be a responsible boater
Conserve
the Blue
Carbon for
me!

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Phil Colarusso - Blue Carbon

  • 2. Blue Carbon  Carbon that is associated with salt marsh, seagrass or mangroves  Species in these groups have high growth rates and thus can absorb large quantities of CO2  Carbon is sequestered in the sediments/soil for as long as the habitat stays intact
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. Annual Carbon Sequestration Rates  Mangroves: 0.13 to 24 Mg CO2e/ha/yr  Salt Marsh: 0.01 to 63 Mg CO2e/ha/yr  Seagrass: -76 to 85 Mg CO2e/ha/yr  Tropical forests: -20.02 to 8 Mg CO2e/ha/yr
  • 8.
  • 9. Importance of Seagrass  Seagrass meadows are estimated to occupy less than 0.2% of the area of the world’s oceans, but account for about 20% of the sequestered carbon on an annual basis
  • 10. Loss/degradation of Coastal Wetlands  Mangroves  Globally losing 0.66%/yr  Greatest losses are in Asia  Salt Marsh  Data in many geographic areas is scarce  Globally estimated to be 1 to 2%/yr  Seagrass  Globally 1-3%/yr
  • 11. Putting the losses in context  Emissions that result from conversion and degradation of coastal wetlands estimated to be between 300 to 900 million tons CO2e  Roughly equivalent to the annual emissions from energy and industry sectors for Poland and Germany
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15. Seagrass stressors  Reductions in water clarity/eutrophication  Piers/wharfs/moorings  Dredging  Invasive species  Trawling/shellfishing
  • 16. What you can do  Reduce nitrogen  Cut fertilizer use  Eat lower on the food chain  Mass transit/increased fuel efficiency  Limit/reduce impervious surface  Avoid farmed shrimp  Be a responsible boater