Abstract Title

Session S-07E: Aquatic Vegetation

Proposed Abstract Title

K’ómoks Estuary Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Beds: Assessing Baseline Biomass & Carbon Content and Sequestration for a BLUE CARBON Pilot Protocol

Presenter/Author Information

Angela SpoonerFollow

Keywords

Habitat

Location

Room 6C

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

“Blue Carbon” describes carbon stored in marine estuarine sediments where it may be stably sequestered for over one hundred years. British Columbia (BC) has over 1000 estuaries. Of the various estuarine habitats, the most critical for carbon sequestration is eelgrass, especially the native Zostera marina. In 2007, the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program found 200 of 442 assessed BC estuaries have been degraded in some fashion. Despite the fact that seagrass meadows are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, their global organic carbon stores have not yet been assessed. The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society (Project Watershed) strives to work in partnership with local stewardship organizations, industry and all levels of government. In support of these objectives, one goal of Project Watershed is to manage research, restoration, assessment, protection and awareness raising projects in the K’ómoks Estuary and Puntledge River Watershed. The K’ómoks Estuary is listed as a Class 1 (undamaged) estuary, is one of the most productive estuaries on Vancouver Island and is also considered third for greatest potential carbon sequestration after the Fraser River and the Chemanius River estuaries in BC. For these reasons the K’ómoks Estuary is an ideal location to pilot Blue Carbon protocol development. Questions facing Project Watershed regarding the development of protocols that meet Carbon Verification Standards include: identifying useful measures, carbon sequestration mechanisms and accuracy of analysis. To further their aim, Project Watershed is sponsoring graduate research. The goals of this Royal Roads University Master of Science study are to: • Determine baseline carbon storage and sequestration levels in the K’ómoks Estuary eelgrass population and sediments. • Determine the most robust and cost effective technique for mapping eelgrass beds (intertidal and subtidal) accurately in order to calculate the carbon in the K’ómoks Estuary eelgrass beds as a measure of density/m2 and mass/m2. This research will contribute to the British Columbia Blue Carbon Greenhouse Gas Protocol initiative project with MOU partners: BC Environmental Secretariat, Project Watershed, Vancouver Island University and the K’ómoks First Nation.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

K’ómoks Estuary Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Beds: Assessing Baseline Biomass & Carbon Content and Sequestration for a BLUE CARBON Pilot Protocol

Room 6C

“Blue Carbon” describes carbon stored in marine estuarine sediments where it may be stably sequestered for over one hundred years. British Columbia (BC) has over 1000 estuaries. Of the various estuarine habitats, the most critical for carbon sequestration is eelgrass, especially the native Zostera marina. In 2007, the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program found 200 of 442 assessed BC estuaries have been degraded in some fashion. Despite the fact that seagrass meadows are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, their global organic carbon stores have not yet been assessed. The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society (Project Watershed) strives to work in partnership with local stewardship organizations, industry and all levels of government. In support of these objectives, one goal of Project Watershed is to manage research, restoration, assessment, protection and awareness raising projects in the K’ómoks Estuary and Puntledge River Watershed. The K’ómoks Estuary is listed as a Class 1 (undamaged) estuary, is one of the most productive estuaries on Vancouver Island and is also considered third for greatest potential carbon sequestration after the Fraser River and the Chemanius River estuaries in BC. For these reasons the K’ómoks Estuary is an ideal location to pilot Blue Carbon protocol development. Questions facing Project Watershed regarding the development of protocols that meet Carbon Verification Standards include: identifying useful measures, carbon sequestration mechanisms and accuracy of analysis. To further their aim, Project Watershed is sponsoring graduate research. The goals of this Royal Roads University Master of Science study are to: • Determine baseline carbon storage and sequestration levels in the K’ómoks Estuary eelgrass population and sediments. • Determine the most robust and cost effective technique for mapping eelgrass beds (intertidal and subtidal) accurately in order to calculate the carbon in the K’ómoks Estuary eelgrass beds as a measure of density/m2 and mass/m2. This research will contribute to the British Columbia Blue Carbon Greenhouse Gas Protocol initiative project with MOU partners: BC Environmental Secretariat, Project Watershed, Vancouver Island University and the K’ómoks First Nation.