Webinar Addressed Coastal Landscapes in Transition

Pew event examined impacts of sea-level rise on ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems

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Webinar Addressed Coastal Landscapes in Transition
California’s Elkhorn Slough
After years of habitat loss from draining and diking, the vast salt marshes of California’s Elkhorn Slough, about 100 miles south of the San Francisco Bay, are the focus of a major restoration effort aimed at boosting the slough’s carbon sequestration benefits and increasing its resilience to the impacts of sea-level rise.
NOAA

Coastal wetlands in the United States capture and store millions of tons of carbon each year, making these “blue carbon” ecosystems an important focus for states looking to enhance their resilience to climate effects, bolster mitigation efforts, and secure the myriad benefits these habitats provide to humans and wildlife.

Experts project that climate change impacts such as sea-level rise, erosion, and flooding will significantly alter coastal landscapes over the next century—and that blue carbon ecosystems, including salt marshes, tidal forests, and seagrass beds, will be particularly susceptible. These changes, in turn, have the potential to affect coastal habitats’ capacity to capture and store carbon.

On Nov. 9, 2022, The Pew Charitable Trusts hosted “Coastal Landscapes in Transition: Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on Blue Carbon Ecosystems”—the third webinar in Pew’s Blue Carbon Network series. The event explored the impacts of sea-level rise on blue carbon ecosystems in the mid-Atlantic and on the West Coast and offered adaptive management strategies.

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Pew Webinar Addresses Blue Carbon Landscapes in Transition

Agenda

Welcome, opening remarks and speaker introductions

Sylvia Troost, senior manager, conserving marine life in the U.S., The Pew Charitable Trusts

Sea-level rise, landscape-level transitions, carbon impacts, and restoration 

Molly Mitchell, research assistant professor, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

How to get better information about how these landscapes will transition

Melinda Martinez, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey within the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana

Case study: Major restoration of tidal marshes underway at Elkhorn Slough

Monique Fountain, director, Tidal Wetland Program at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve 

Q&A

Moderated by Sylvia Troost

Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks

Sylvia Troost

Wetlands
Wetlands

U.S. States Play Major Role Boosting 'Blue Carbon'

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U.S. states and local jurisdictions are largely responsible for governing their coasts, so they play a critical role in ensuring the protection and restoration of “blue carbon” habitats.