Over 97 percent of the water on Earth is salt water in the oceans. The ocean is one of the largest carbon sinks on Earth, taking up a third of the carbon emitted by human activity. However, fresh water that humans use is considered a scarce resource, which is mostly found frozen in glaciers, beneath the Earth’s surface (groundwater), or in lakes and rivers.
Aside from fresh water, healthy watersheds provide many other important ecosystem services such as water filtration, flood control, erosion and sediment control, nutrient cycling, increased biodiversity, wildlife corridors, recreation, and carbon sequestration.
Coastal ecosystems, including mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes also capture and store carbon. Carbon sequestered by the oceans and coastal ecosystems is called Blue Carbon, which also plays a significant role in habitat conservation. Protecting these systems is crucial, as they become a source of carbon emissions (emitting huge amounts of carbon back into the atmosphere) when they are damaged.
Collaboration in fall 2020 with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Climate Change, New York City Department of Parks Natural Resources Group, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Hudson River Foundation, and Scenic Hudson to develop and host a workshop about assessing New York coastal wetlands for sequestering blue carbon and creating a roadmap for next steps.
Building capacity for collaborative research on blue carbon storage in the freshwater tidal Hudson River Estuary by facilitating a working group to refine research proposals for Piermont Marsh and Tivoli Bay. This involves clarifying the project concept and roles of the partners in the implementation of the research and determining collaboration support tools and presentations designed to share the project process, progress, and results. This effort will facilitate future grant applications for research that will improve understanding of the carbon sequestration and methane emission in the freshwater tidal wetlands of the Hudson River Estuary, and an assessment of their applicability to carbon markets, helping to advance the science of tidal wetland ecology and management.