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Blue Carbon in Marine Protected Areas: Part 2

September 1, 2021

Coastal and marine ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon cycle, sequestering and storing carbon over long timescales. These "blue carbon" ecosystems help mitigate climate change and its impacts by facilitating the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean and transporting carbon into sediments or deep waters where it can remain indefinitely if undisturbed. Inclusion of these coastal and ocean processes as part of the solution to global climate change is essential in achieving global carbon mitigation and emission reduction goals; however, blue carbon is often overlooked in climate mitigation policies. Further, resource managers of the largest network of U.S. marine protected areas (MPAs), the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, have not incorporated assessments of blue carbon extent and functionality into their management plans, policies, or decisions, which can result in unintentional carbon emissions and lost opportunities to further protect and enhance carbon sequestration in MPAs. Though blue carbon is a rapidly growing area of research, guidance for how to apply blue carbon information in MPA management is lacking, and for some sequestration processes, completely absent. As requested by Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) in response to Part 1 of this series, the Greater Farallones Association conducted a blue carbon assessment for the sanctuary. This is the first assessment of multiple blue carbon sequestration processes in a U.S. federal MPA, with the primary purpose of informing one of the nation's largest MPAs in its management decision-making. The carbon storage and annual sequestration for two coastal blue carbon habitats, seagrass and salt marsh, and two oceanic carbon sequestration processes, kelp export and dead whale falls, were assessed within the boundaries of the sanctuary using regional and site-specific data. These processes have the potential to sequester 4,950 megagrams of carbon (MgC) each year (or 18,150 metric tons CO2 equivalent), which is valued at $925,650 in societal benefit annually and is 140 times the amount of CO2 that is emitted from annual site operations. Whale falls account for roughly 60% of this annual sequestration; salt marsh, seagrass, and kelp account for roughly equal parts of the remaining 40%, though annual sequestration by the region's kelp forests have declined by 99.7% from 2008 to 2019. Sanctuary coastal blue carbon habitats currently hold approximately 175,000 MgC in their sediments, which, if destroyed, could release approximately 643,000 metric tons of CO2, or the equivalent of adding 140,000 vehicles to the road for one year. Understanding carbon sequestration within national marine sanctuaries is key for managing changes to stored carbon, which has national and global climate relevance. While these estimates are an incomplete characterization of carbon services provided by GFNMS, this report nonetheless serves as a preliminary step in guiding sanctuary management to protect and enhance the critical climate mitigation services of its coast and ocean resources.

Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters CRED

September 18, 2019

CRED' Capacity Building and Training Programme enables people, communities and organizations to strengthen their capabilities to develop, implement and maintain effective health sector services. The programme also provides guidance and support on preventing and responding to disasters, conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies.The Centre develops, implements and evaluates training materials and courses to help international agencies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and schools of public health strengthen their technical capacity in emergency public health management. CRED strives to improve disaster management capacities through institutional and community capacity-building, information and data management, and partnerships. In addition, the Centre provides training in public health, epidemiology, natural disaster management and complex emergency intervention.

U.S. Drought Monitor: U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands

September 10, 2019

U.S. Drought Monitor: U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands on September 10, 2019.

United States Drought Monitor

September 10, 2019

United States Drought Monitor. Current Map released on September 12, 2019.

Sustain Our Great Lakes: 2006-2015 Ten-Year Report

September 21, 2015

During the past decade, five federal agencies and ArcelorMittal have partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to coordinate and leverage funding for ecological restoration in the Great Lakes basin. Known as Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL), this innovative public -- private collaboration is celebrating its tenth year, and we are pleased to present this report as a way to commemorate that milestone.Since 2006, SOGL has awarded 245 grants to 128 organizations, directing more than $113 million to on-the-ground restoration projects. From providing lake sturgeon access to historic spawning habitat on the Menominee River, to re-establishing wild rice beds in the St. Louis River estuary, to improving hundreds of acres of coastal wetlands in the Maumee River Area of Concern, the program has helped support many of the most exciting restoration efforts in the basin during the past decade. The following pages summarize those achievements, with a focus on the four priority issues that have guided our investments: aquatic connectivity, stream and riparian habitat, wetlands, and shoreline habitat.