According to the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, past carbon emissions are making it more likely that we will see two feet of sea level rise along the U.S. coastline before 2100. If we fail to curb future emissions, sea levels could rise by as much as seven feet, putting coastal communities at risk for more intense storm surges, flooding, and devastating damage to private property and community infrastructure.
Wetlands, like the ones Reserves protect, have the capacity to capture more carbon than any other habitat on earth. Over the last decade, Reserves around the country have been advancing the science and policy of blue carbon—with leadership from Massachusetts’ Waquoit Bay Reserve—while working to conserve and protect the nation’s coastal wetlands.
In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, Reserves participated in the Blue Methane Project—an ambitious effort that combined satellite imagery with Reserves’ on-the-ground monitoring data to lay the groundwork for an inventory of the methane stored in all of the nation’s wetlands.
At Puerto Rico’s Jobos Bay Reserve, a seagrass and mangrove restoration project offset carbon for the Philadelphia Eagles travel, while mitigating damage from ocean acidification, fortifying communities against storm surge, protecting coral reefs, and providing sanctuary to the West Indian manatee and green sea turtle.
At the Waquoit Bay Reserve, the education program leveraged groundbreaking work in science and policy by the Reserve and its partners to bring climate science, including blue carbon, into the classroom through teacher trainings.
We are so thankful for Reserves across the country for doing everything they can to reduce emissions by working to keep wetlands and other natural infrastructure healthy and sharing what they learn with communities, restoration scientists and practitioners, policy makers, and educators.