Press Releases

Institute to help state quantify carbon sequestration potential of coastal restoration projects

Aug 19, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. (Aug. 19, 2020) – Today, Governor John Bel Edwards signed two climate change related executive orders with the first designed to improve coastal resilience by better coordinating adaptation efforts and the second aimed at developing policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gases. As part of the second executive order, the Institute will soon start working with the state to quantify the carbon sequestration potential of coastal restoration projects in the state’s Coastal Master Plan, Gov. Edwards said Wednesday.

“We are honored to support the Governor and the state in this transformative initiative,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Institute president and CEO. “As Louisiana continues to restore and protect our coast, we should consider, quantify and promote our wetlands’ remarkable capacity to capture and store carbon. This is yet another example of how the state’s coastal program is making our environment and communities more resilient in the face of an uncertain future.”

Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are diverse, productive in capturing carbon and the flooded soils provide the perfect condition for the carbon to remain buried.

“Current estimates suggest that Louisiana’s wetlands account for a notable fraction of the carbon buried in the soil around the world and those assessments need to continuously be updated and refined as new scientific research becomes available,” said Melissa Baustian, Institute coastal ecologist and director of the RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana. “This program will allow the Institute to host technical meetings with various groups across Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to gather what is known about carbon capture in existing and restored wetlands. In addition, it’s vital to take into account how fast our coastline is changing because the amount of carbon that can be captured now may not be the same into the future.”

Read more about the Governor’s announcement here.

The Institute is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. The Institute helps communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. For more information, visit