Consideration of the carbon sequestration potential of seagrass to inform recovery and restoration projects within the Essex Estuaries Special Area of Conservation (SAC), United Kingdom

Vanessa Gouldsmith, Andrew Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Coastal Conservation
Volume26
Early online date23 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Blue Carbon
  • Zostera marina
  • Zostera noltei
  • Seagrass
  • Essex Estuaries

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