partnership book

 Coastal Blue Carbon: An Introduction for Policy Makers. (Prepared by the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, 2018.) The introduction to blue carbon policy makers describes some of the challenges and opportunities in developing policies and undertaking projects to protect and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems, while highlighting work already underway. It is hoped the document will serve as a reference for those who are new to blue carbon and those who are seeking to bring a greater focus on blue carbon to their jurisdictions. Access the report here.

Incorporating Blue Carbon into Ecosystem Service Valuations for the Galveston Bay Region, Texas (Yoskowitz, D.W. and L.M. Hutchingon, 2018. Prepared for Restore America's Estuaries. Funded by U.S. FWS Coastal Program.) This report summarizes available blue carbon data that is relevant to decision-making within the Galveston Bay region within the context of previous research that has been conducted on ecosystem services in the Galveston Bay region and along the Texas coast. Access the full report here.

frontiers paper imageClarifying the Role of Coastal and Marine Systems in Climate Migitation. (Howard et al. 2017, Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.) With increasing recognition of the role coastal habitats have in climate mitigation, there is new interest in including other marine systems, such as coral reefs, phytoplankton, kelp forest, and marine fauna. In this paper authors analyze the scientific evidence and potential management roal of several coastal and marine ecosystems to determine what should be prioritized within current climate mitigation strategies and policies, and which are effective and significant "blue carbon" habitats. Findings can assist decision-makers and conservation practitioners to understand where management actions can have additional carbon benefits. Access the paper here.


TBBCA pic2016

Tampa Bay Blue Carbon Assessment: Summary of Findings. (Sheehan et al. 2016) This study analyzed the past and future climate mitigation benefits of habitat restoration in Tampa Bay, and identified opportunities for enhanced ecosystem management that can provide agencies and community members in the region with information to support coastal management planning and prioritize restoration and climate adaptation planning. Read the report here

This memorandum elaborates on the technical details that went into the greenhouse gas analysis described in the June 2016 Tampa Bay Blue Carbon Assessment: Summary of Findings, specifically the analysis that went into results presented in Table 14.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program and USF Water Atlas created an online resource for this assessment and the modelling used to predict blue carbon potential and sea-level rise impacts to the region. The interactive website is online at

A potential challenge to developing carbon offset projects in Tampa Bay is cost and scalibility of bring a project to market. An alternative project design method of "grouping" allows project developers to aggregate smaller project together for offset project development. This report describes howto use a "grouped project approach" for realising carbon offsets, with specific recommendations for Tampa Bay stakeholders. 

National Wetlands Newsletter - "Adding Blue Carbon Value to Coastal Restoration," Volume 38, Number 3, May/June 2016. Produced by Environmental Law Institute. - The understanding of greenhouse gases and the benefits of blue carbon continue to increase as the impacts of climate change become more apparent. The authors provide examples of how the value of blue carbon is being incorporated into coastal restoration projects in diverse regions and thoughts on expanding the use of blue carbon. Read the article here

The K'omoks and Squamish Estuaries: A Blue Carbon Pilot Project [Assessment]. (Christine Hodgson and Angela Spooner, April 2016.) The project team developed a protocol for mapping, estimating carbon stores and estimating carbon sequestration rates for eelgrass and salt marsh habitats on the Canadian Pacific coast. This project was led by the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society and Squamish River Watershed Society with funding from North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) with the aim of developing a community-based initiative for carbon assessment in estuaries. Read the report here.

Recommendations from the Blue Carbon National Working Group. These priority recommendations are based from the BCN 2015 meeting and include priorities for advancing research and application of blue carbon to benefit coastal restoration and conservation efforts nationally.Read the recommendations here

BC manualCoastal Blue Carbon in Practice: A Manual for Using the VCS Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration VM0033.
 (Dec 2015) This manual aids project developers as they consider and plan for a blue carbon project using the VCS VM0033 Methodology (listed below). The manual covers the main phases of carbon project development, including feasibility and site selection, documentation, registration, implementation, and carbon asset management. In addition the manual helps project developers address issues of sea-level rise and permanence, manage risks, and includes considerations for using a grouped project approach to reduce costs. Download a click-able web copy here.


VM0033 picMethodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration (VM0033) This landmark methodology provides the procedures for how to calculate, report and verify greenhouse gas reductions for tidal wetland restoration projects anywhere in the world. Such activities include creating and/or managing conditions required for healthy, sustainable wetland systems. This methodology is approved by the Verified Carbon Standard, and as such, allows coastal restoration activies eligible to generate carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market. Prepared by: Restore America’s Estuaries, Silvestrum, University of Maryland, Dr. Steve Crooks, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and University of Virginia (2014). The methodology can be accessed at:

Bringing Wetlands to Market Greenhouse Gas Model (2015) Preliminary model developed by Phase I of the Bringing Wetlands to Market project intitiated by the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The model estimates greenhouse gases in tidal marshes and was developed from four different weltands of Waquoit Bay, MA. Phase II of this project (initiated 2016) will expand model applicability to regions of New England and the East Coast. See the model fact sheet for more information or download the model at: 

LandUse reportClimate Change and the Land Sector: Improving Measurement, Mitigation and Resilience of our Natural Resources. (Dec 2015) This Whitehouse Progress Report highlights the comprehensive approach across federal agencies to improve our understanding of land sector emissions and implement programs that reduce emissions and protect our natural resources and the communities that rely on them. The report includes efforts to incorporate coastal wetlands into the U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, an effort coordinated by RAE with NOAA, EPA and Dr. Steve Crooks. Access the report online here.


Priority AgendaPriority Agenda: Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's National Resources. (Oct 2014) Prepared by the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience Climate and Natural Resources Working Group. This Agenda build upon the climate change adaptation work already accomplished by Federal agencies and identifies significant actions moving forward. Among the work highlighted is RAE's Tampa Bay Blue Carbon Assessment. This Agenda also highlights coastal habitats for their blue carbon ecosystem services. Access online here.


Guiding Principles for Delivering Coastal Wetland Carbon Projects. (UNEP and CIFOR, 2014). This report is for people familiar with carbon project and policy development or wetland restoration and are seeking an overview of the additional requirements necessary for successful coastal wetland or blue carbon interventions (projects). Funding for this report provided by United Nationa Environment Program (UNEP) and was a collaborated effort by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Lead authors include Steve Crooks and Michelle Orr (ESA), Igino Emmer and Moritz von Unger (Silvestrum), Ben Brown (Blue Forest), and Daniel Murdiyarso (CIFOR). 


altCoastal Blue Carbon: methods for assessing carbon stocks and emissions factors in mangroves, tidal salt marshes, and seagrass meadows. (Howard, et al. 2014)

The IUCN and Conservation International manual will provide scientists and coastal managers with a practical tool to produce robust blue carbon data.
You can download a copy at:



altBlue Carbon Template for Coastal Managers: This document describes significant factors in understanding the ways coastal blue carbon can help coastal managers achieve conservation and restoration goals. The Template was developed by RAE’s Steve Emmett-Mattox and Dr. Steve Crooks, a wetlands carbon consultant. It is part of a collaborative project with the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) and funded by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative. Coastal Blue Carbon: A Template for Understanding Options 




National Wetlands Newsletter: Coastal Blue Carbon Issue. "Implementing Coastal Blue Carbon Projects: Lessons Learned and Next Steps"- Volume 36, Number 1, January/February 2014. - Produced by the Environmental Law Institute  - "The Promise of "coastal blue carbon" is that the climate mitigation benefits of salt marsh, mangroves, seagrass, and other tidal wetland habitats will stimulate new investments in and prioritization of wetland management, including restoration and conservation. [Carbon] leaders in this field discuss lessons learned and recommendations for a way forward."



altSharing the Stage: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014.
This report by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace reports key findings describing the voluntary carbon markets, including funded emission reductions, carbon market value, and buyer prioritizations.
Modeling Tidal Marsh Distribution with Sea-Level Rise: Evaluating the Role of Vegetation, Sediment, and Upland Habitat in Marsh Resiliency. (Schile, et al. 2014.)

 2014 state of the carbon markets report - forest trends.pdf



altTurning the Tide: How Blue Carbon Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) Might Help Save Mangrove Forest. (Locatelli, et al. 2014)
In this paper, the authors describe the potential for applying PES projects to mangroves, with particular regard to their service of carbon sequestration and storage.
The article is available at




alt2013 Wetlands Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories
This supplement extends the 2006 IPCC Guidelines by filling gaps in coverage and providing updated information reflecting scientific advances, including emission factors.
The full report and additional information can be found at:

*2017 UPDATE* The U.S. became the first nation to use these guidelines to include coastal wetlands into the National GHG Inventory. Recognizing wetlands within national inventories can empower countries to recognize the benefits of improved wetland management. The 1990-2015 U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory including coastal wetlands is available online (see sections 6.8 abd 6.9 for wetlands) at



altConsidering “Coastal Carbon” in Existing U.S. Federal Statutes and Policies. (Pendleton, et al. 2013.) The authors in this report identify key steps for the inclusion of the ecosystem services of coastal habitats, including blue carbon benefits, into the implementation of existing federal policies without statutory changes.

Pendleton&Suttongrier et al_ Coastal Carbon US Policies_2013.pdf




altRestore-Adapt-Mitigate: Responding to Climate Change through Coastal Habitat Restoration. (Needelman, et al. 2012.) Prepared by Restore America’s Estuaries, this report links ecologically important coastal habitat restoration with adaptation and mitigation strategies as a way to reduce the impacts of ongoing climate change. The report demonstrates that coastal wetland restoration – everything from restoring salt marshes, to protecting mangroves, and creating new coastal wetlands – can be an integral part of public and private initiatives to combat climate change.

A full copy of the report is found here


altBlue Carbon Policy Framework 2.0. (Herr et al. 2012) This IUCN report is based on the discussions of the International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group held from July 2011 and January 2012.

The framework, described in this document, also details a timeline and identifies the possible stakeholders to further develop the activities.

Report is available at



altEstimating Global “Blue Carbon” Emissions from Conversion and Degradation of Vegetated Coastal Ecosystems. (Pendleton et al. 2012.)

Estimating global blue carbon emissions from conversion and degradation plos one.pdf





altGlobal Economic Potential for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Mangrove Loss. (Siikamaki, et al. 2012.) In this report, the authors consider the global economic potential for protecting mangroves based exclusively on their ability to sequester and store carbon.

 Global Economic Potential of Mangroves -Siikamaki et al. 2012





altA Blueprint for Blue Carbon: toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2. (McLeod et al. 2011) This report highlights the importance of coastal habitats in sequestering carbon, specifically in the soils. Due to the high rate of loss of these ecosystems, there needs to be additional research to identify vulnerable sites for priority in restoration and conservation/improved management. Click here for the report.



alt“Green Payments for Blue Carbon: Economic Incentives for Protecting Threatened Coastal Habitats.” Brian C. Murray, Linwood Pendleton, W. Aaron Jenkins, and Samantha Sifleet. Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Report NI R 11-04, March 2011. 





alt“Mitigating Climate Change through Restoration and Management of Coastal Wetlands and Near-shore Marine Ecosystems: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Crooks, S., D. Herr, J. Tamelander, D. Laffoley, and J. Vandever. 2011. Environment Department Paper 121, World Bank, Washington, DC. (for howard) 

Find the full report here. 




National Blue Ribbon Panel In 2010, RAE convened a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts to advise the development of a national GHG offset protocol. A GHG offset protocol/methodology will enable new private investment in coastal and estuarine habitat restoration. A tremendous potential exists for public/private partnerships to simultaneously restore our coasts and estuaries to health while mitigating climate change and meeting climate adaptation strategies. The Panel made several recommendations, which were published in the Blue Ribbon Panel Findings & Action Plan to Guide Protocol Development.




“Capturing and Conserving Natural Coastal Carbon: Building mitigation, advancing adaptation.” World Bank, IUCN, ESA PWA. 2010. (for Howard)

Find the full report here. 




alt“Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Typology Issues Paper - Tidal Wetlands Restoration.” Philip Williams & Associates, Ltd. and Science Applications International Corporation. Prepared for the Climate Action Reserve, February 2009.

Find the full report here





“The Management of Natural Coastal Carbon Sinks.” Laffoley, D.A. and Grimsditch, G., eds. Glands, Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 2009. 







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