How Can States Set ‘Blue Carbon’ Baselines to Help Meet Their Climate Goals?

Watch Pew’s webinar: Federal resources for states to develop coastal wetland greenhouse gas inventories


How Can States Set ‘Blue Carbon’ Baselines to Help Meet Their Climate Goals?
The Estuary, in Coos Bay, Oregon
Coos Bay, Oregon, is home to vital coastal habitats that can help to mitigate climate change. The state’s work to develop a greenhouse gas inventory for its coastal wetlands was featured as a case study during a Pew-sponsored webinar.
Toni Greaves for The Pew Charitable Trusts

As awareness grows of the important contributions of “blue carbon” habitats—such as salt marsh, tidal forested wetlands, and seagrass beds—in sequestering carbon and reducing climate change impacts, states are beginning to incorporate these coastal ecosystems into their strategies for reducing emissions and enhancing carbon storage through improved management of natural and working lands.

A first step of this work is understanding how much carbon is already being sequestered and stored in states’ coastal habitats. Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories for coastal wetlands are a key tool that states can use to improve this understanding and provide a baseline for maintaining and expanding blue carbon resources in support of their climate goals.

To help states that are interested in developing blue carbon inventories, The Pew Charitable Trusts hosted a webinar focusing on newly available information from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. The webinar featured representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Silvestrum Climate Associates, and showcased how Oregon used this new federal data source to develop its own state-specific GHG inventory for coastal wetlands.

This webinar was the first in a series of resources that Pew plans to provide as part of its Blue Carbon Network, which launched in February to help create stronger connections among state agencies, practitioners, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations working on blue carbon.

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Welcome, Opening Remarks and Speaker Introductions

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

Understanding and Leveraging the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks and Other Resources

Tom Wirth, environmental protection specialist in the Climate Change Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation

National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, a Deeper Dive; Oregon Case Study: Roadmap for Coastal States Developing Blue Carbon Inventories

Stephen Crooks, Ph.D., principal, wetland science, and Lisa Schile Beers, Ph.D., wetland ecologist, Silvestrum Climate Associates


Moderated by Sylvia Troost

Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks

Sylvia Troost

Spotlight on Mental Health

Mangrove forest
Mangrove forest
Issue Brief

Coastal 'Blue Carbon' and Combating Climate Change

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Issue Brief

Coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows, are among the most productive—and threatened—ecosystems on the planet.

Scientist measuring water depth
Scientist measuring water depth
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