A review of available research into the blue carbon potential of seagrass was undertaken. This was then used to inform an analysis of the potential current, historic, and future value of carbon sequestered and stored in the Essex Estuaries Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The assessed status of Zostera in the SAC highlights the extent of historic loss and continued degradation of this designated sub-feature, and current water quality is incompatible with recovery or restoration. Seagrass blue carbon currently stored within the SAC equates to ∼18,350 t C at a sequestration rate of 117.15 t C yr-1, with a lost/potential of 534,700 t C storage capacity. The calculated financial value of current stocks (£4.6m) is dwarfed by the lost/potential monetary value of carbon storage, £135m, and the forfeited sequestration of £860,000-worth of carbon annually from degraded habitat. The use of Carbon offset credits could help fund the huge potential for restoration that exists within the SAC.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Journal of Coastal Conservation|
|Early online date||23 Jul 2022|
|Publication status||Published online - 23 Jul 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thanks are extended to Alan Kavanagh from Natural England/ReMEDIES for proposing the project and reviewing the manuscript and Tim Gardiner from the Environment Agency for sharing information on recent seagrass surveys in Essex and Suffolk. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Blue Carbon
- Zostera marina
- Zostera noltei
- Essex Estuaries