Sinking Islands Capture Carbon Credits

Sacramento & San Joaquin Counties

By Emily Underwood

As sea levels rise and land in the Delta sinks, agencies and landowners are recognizing that levees alone will not protect critical fresh water supplies and infrastructure. Encouraged by a recently vetted new method for calculating carbon offsets from wetlands, a flurry of new climate adaptation projects on publicly owned islands strewn along the central Delta corridor aim to defend against sea-level rise, restore habitat, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Until recently, the prospect of selling carbon credits in the Delta remained fairly abstract. This spring, however, researchers from DWR, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and the consulting company HydroFocus cleared an important hurdle when an independent team of scientists approved their protocol for determining how many tons of carbon Delta wetland restoration can keep out of the atmosphere. “A well-managed farm can provide more than just food,” says Resource Conservation District director Heather Nichols.

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Photo: Sinking levee road Sherman Island by Amber Manfree.

Previous Estuary News Stories

Back to the Bones of the Delta -March 2017

Background

Carbon Credits Save Delta-Water Desk April 2020

Prevent California Katrina-Bay Nature Fall 2019

Twitchell Sherman Islands Subsidence Reversal Projects DWR

Staten Island Restoration and Farming Programs -TNC

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