Presentation Title

Blue Carbon and Climate Mitigation Capacity of Central Salish Sea Eelgrass Meadows

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

BLUE CARBON IN CENTRAL SALISH SEA EELGRASS MEADOWS

AUTHORS: Mira Lutz* (Western Washington University Masters Candidate, mira.lutz@wwu.edu), John Rybczyk (john.rybczyk@wwu.edu), Katrina Poppe (kpoppe@wwu.edu) Chelsea Johnson (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, johns799@wwu.edu ), Mason Lanphier (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, lanphem@wwu.edu ), Meriel Kaminsky (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, kaminsm2@wwu.edu)

ABSTRACT: Seagrass meadows provide more than habitat, biodiversity support, storm surge and wave abatement, and water quality improvement; they help mitigate climate change by taking up and storing (sequestering) carbon (C), reportedly at rates only surpassed worldwide by salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems. Global average sediment C stock and sequestration rate values are currently being used in allotting carbon finance funding to restoration projects. However, little data exists for eelgrass meadows in the Pacific Northwest. The intent of our study is to quantify carbon stocks and sequestration rates over three bays in the central Salish Sea. Preliminary results from our study show lower estimated Corg concentration (mean=0.42%, range=0.098%-5.28%), Corg stock (mean=24.69 Mg ha-1, range=13.80-56.70), and C sequestration rates (means=82.17, 26.42, and 22.00 g m-2 yr-1 in Samish, Padilla, and Skagit Bays, respectively, based on preliminary analysis of 210Pb activity levels) than those reported in published studies from most other locations. These data have implications for carbon finance policy that determines the amount of eelgrass meadow area required for restoration to offset a given amount of emissions from parties releasing greenhouse gases or disturbing eelgrass habitat.

KEYWORDS: Eelgrass, blue carbon, C-sequestration

FORMAT: Poster

Start Date

6-5-2017 12:15 PM

End Date

6-5-2017 2:00 PM

Location

Miller Hall

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May 6th, 12:15 PM May 6th, 2:00 PM

Blue Carbon and Climate Mitigation Capacity of Central Salish Sea Eelgrass Meadows

Miller Hall

BLUE CARBON IN CENTRAL SALISH SEA EELGRASS MEADOWS

AUTHORS: Mira Lutz* (Western Washington University Masters Candidate, mira.lutz@wwu.edu), John Rybczyk (john.rybczyk@wwu.edu), Katrina Poppe (kpoppe@wwu.edu) Chelsea Johnson (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, johns799@wwu.edu ), Mason Lanphier (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, lanphem@wwu.edu ), Meriel Kaminsky (Western Washington University Undergraduate Intern, kaminsm2@wwu.edu)

ABSTRACT: Seagrass meadows provide more than habitat, biodiversity support, storm surge and wave abatement, and water quality improvement; they help mitigate climate change by taking up and storing (sequestering) carbon (C), reportedly at rates only surpassed worldwide by salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems. Global average sediment C stock and sequestration rate values are currently being used in allotting carbon finance funding to restoration projects. However, little data exists for eelgrass meadows in the Pacific Northwest. The intent of our study is to quantify carbon stocks and sequestration rates over three bays in the central Salish Sea. Preliminary results from our study show lower estimated Corg concentration (mean=0.42%, range=0.098%-5.28%), Corg stock (mean=24.69 Mg ha-1, range=13.80-56.70), and C sequestration rates (means=82.17, 26.42, and 22.00 g m-2 yr-1 in Samish, Padilla, and Skagit Bays, respectively, based on preliminary analysis of 210Pb activity levels) than those reported in published studies from most other locations. These data have implications for carbon finance policy that determines the amount of eelgrass meadow area required for restoration to offset a given amount of emissions from parties releasing greenhouse gases or disturbing eelgrass habitat.

KEYWORDS: Eelgrass, blue carbon, C-sequestration

FORMAT: Poster