Many fishermen, oyster growers, scientists and others know that wetlands fringing Oregon’s coastal bays are of value for their natural abilities to reduce storm flooding and trap sediment, and provide nurseries for a great number of commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish. But less known is that these marshes and swamps are also now recognized for their important role in pulling CO2 out of the earth’s atmosphere and permanently storing its carbon in wetland soils.
The carbon storage benefits of conserving natural habitats is the focus of a free speaker series, “From Ridgetop to Reef,” hosted by the MidCoast Watersheds Council. On Thursday, Feb. 6, Craig Cornu, of the Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Working Group, will describe their research to assess the carbon storing potential of Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands, as well as investigating the feasibility of using carbon finance to support tidal wetland restoration initiatives.
In 2014, Cornu helped found the Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Working Group, a diverse group of researchers, land managers, carbon market investors, policy makers and planners. As a part of their work over the past three years, Cornu has been managing grant-supported research projects to help fill key blue carbon data gaps and assess the feasibility of blue carbon projects for the region.
Cornu’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center’s Doerfler Family Theatre in Newport, located at 333 SE Bay Blvd. Other talks in this free series about natural climate solutions will continue through June on the first Thursday of each month at the same time and the same place.
For more information on “From Ridgetop to Reef,” check out www.midcoastwatersheds.org/carbon-speaker-series.