A new methodology to encourage coastal restoration across the globe has been approved by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration (VM0033) is the first globally applicable greenhouse gas accounting methodology for coastal wetland restoration, and will allow salt marsh, seagrass, mangrove, and other tidal wetland restoration projects to earn carbon credits.
This landmark methodology provides the procedures for how to calculate, report, and verify greenhouse gas reductions for tidal wetland restoration projects anywhere in the world. Now, projects such as removing tidal barriers, improving water quality to increase seagrass habitat, beneficial use of dredged material, and re-introducing native plant communities will be eligible to earn carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market, generating new sources of funding.
Carbon credits are purchased by companies or individuals to offset the emissions they cannot reduce. Through the purchase of carbon credits, the carbon market can now support coastal habitat projects with a climate benefit.
For more information about blue carbon or to view the Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration, visit www.estuaries.org/bluecarbon/resources.
Methodology development was led by Restore America’s Estuaries and Silvestrum, with lead financial support from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative (under the Waquoit Bay NERR Bringing Wetlands to Market: Nitrogen and Coastal Blue Carbon Project). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Habitat Conservation, The Ocean Foundation, The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, and KBR all provided additional support.
Methodology authors include Dr. Igino Emmer, Silvestrum; Dr. Brian Needelman, University of Maryland; Steve Emmett-Mattox, Restore America’s Estuaries; Dr. Steve Crooks, Environmental Science Associates; Dr. Pat Megonigal, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; Doug Myers, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Matthew Oreska, University of Virginia; Dr. Karen McGlathery, University of Virginia; and David Shoch, Terracarbon.