Restoring Canada’s Blue Carbon

Scientists have determined that some marine ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than forests do. Unlike most terrestrial systems, which reach carbon saturation in decades, sediments in coastal ecosystems can continue soaking
up greenhouse gases for millennia. Not only do Canada’s rich seagrass meadows, salt marshes, estuaries and tidal wetlands store large quantities of carbon, they also provide habitat for many species—including valuable commercial fish and shellfish—and protect coastal communities from erosion and storm surges.

With the world’s longest coastline, Canada has an important role to play in sequestering ocean carbon. For example, the Bay of Fundy is estimated to hold the carbon equivalent of 100 million barrels of oil. Land use changes, pollution and other anthropogenic stressors have eaten away at these carbon stores. Restoring them, where possible, is essential in the fight against climate change.

Recommended Investment:

$100 million over four years for restoration of coastal ecosystems with high potential for carbon sequestration. [DFO]

Contacts

Doug Chiasson – dchiasson@wwfcanada.org
Jordy Thomson – jordythomson@ecologyaction.ca