Coastal Marsh Restoration Seen as Potent Weapon Against Climate Impacts

Federal scientists are studying whether heat-trapping carbon dioxide can be sucked out of the atmosphere and sequestered in restored salt marshes, sea grass beds and mangrove swamps. And those wetlands can in turn protect communities along the coast from rising seas and fierce, frequent climate-driven storms. Across the Lower 48 states, wetlands hold at least 3.2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent, by one estimate — roughly half the country’s net total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

Exciting new research being conducted by the US Geological Service in Woods Hole is examining how to quantify the the potential for national-scale carbon management in tidal wetlands.  They found that conserving existing wetlands, restoring 35 percent of marshes that have been impounded or drained, and allowing coastal wetlands to naturally migrate toward land as sea levels rise could create a substantial sink for CO2 and human-caused methane by 2050.

Read a description of the research from E&E news: