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‘Blue carbon’ in the Herring River: Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions through wetland restoration?

A March 29th event co-sponsored by Wellfleet Climate Mobilization and the Friends of Herring River will explore the regionally and globally significant role healthy salt marshes play in combating climate change.

Dr. Kevin D. Kroeger, Ph.D., Research Biogeochemist, at U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, will present ‘Blue carbon’ in the Herring River: Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions through wetland restoration? Dr. Kroeger’s presentation will review findings from local and national research demonstrating how healthy salt marshes absorb carbon; the potential role for salt marsh restoration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and local and regional examples of coastal restoration projects with carbon storage potential, including Herring River, where blue carbon benefits are being examined.

The program will take place on Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6 pm, Wellfleet Senior Center, 715 Old King’s Highway. The event is free and open to the public.

Blue Carbon is a term used to describe carbon captured and retained by coastal wetlands and seagrass beds. These natural habitats store massive amounts of carbon that would otherwise contribute to global climate change. Coastal wetlands store large quantities of carbon at a rate faster than even tropical forests. Carbon storage is now recognized as a significant public benefit of coastal wetland restoration projects such as the Herring River Restoration Project.

By increasing tide range and saltwater inundation in the Herring River, hundreds of tons of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas would be buried within the floodplain soils as they build and increase in elevation. Tidal restoration of the Herring River would also greatly reduce emissions of methane— a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide—as saltwater wetlands replace methane-emitting freshwater wetlands.

For more information about this event, contact Karen LaRocque, Friends of Herring River, at, or telephone 508-214-0656.