Oregon Should Leverage Regional Data to Bolster Natural Climate Solutions

Pew urges state to enhance coastal wetlands’ carbon storage and engage Tribes in the effort

Oregon Can Use Data to Bolster Natural Climate Solutions
A coastal wetland is surrounded by conifer forest under a cloudy sky.
Toni Greaves for The Pew Charitable Trusts

On Dec. 1, 2023, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted comments to the Oregon Climate Action Commission in response to recommendations from the Institute for Natural Resources, which outlined next steps that Oregon can take to track carbon sequestration in coastal wetlands, forests, and other natural and working lands (NWL) that capture and store atmospheric carbon.

Pew’s comments emphasized the importance of using coastal ecosystems to sequester carbon and urged the commission to regularly review new research and data that could expand the use of these natural climate solutions. Investing in science-to-policy networks, such as the Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Working Group, could help the state make progress in this area and improve its coastal wetland greenhouse gas inventory.

In addition, Pew urged the commission to recognize and formally document the other benefits of coastal ecosystems beyond carbon capture, such as flood protection and improved water quality, and to include freshwater wetland conservation in its list of NWL practices that protect carbon stores. Finally, Pew encouraged Oregon officials to start working with Tribal Nations, as required by law, to determine whether and how to incorporate Indigenous practices in the management of the state’s natural and working lands.

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