You may remember from a previous Daily Difference email that mangrove forests play a big role in protecting the shoreline and capturing carbon. Well, mangroves are part of a larger system that stores blue carbon. Blue carbon is carbon captured and stored by marine and coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems can capture carbon faster than forests on land and are also biodiversity hotspots that protect the shoreline.
When these ecosystems are damaged or disappear because of factors like climate change and global warming, not only is carbon released back into the environment, the planet is losing a valuable carbon sink.
But there’s good news! There are organizations such as The International Blue Carbon Initiative who are dedicated to conserving and restoring these ecosystems to help alleviate climate change. The Blue Carbon Initiative focuses on coastal ecosystems including seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves. They partner with other organizations to conduct scientific research, conservation activities and field-based projects to continue furthering our understanding of blue carbon and what we can do to protect this resource.
Coastal ecosystems that trap blue carbon are found along the coasts of every continent except for Antarctica. And there are numerous organizations focused on protecting them. Is there one near you?