Defining the Future OF
Kelp Forest Restoration
Kelp forests can sequester carbon at a high rate, and Carbon finance could fund kelp forest
restoration projects globally.
Scientists cannot yet fully quantify carbon sequestration from kelp forests, and this holds back funding and policy development around kelp forest restoration.
Our $1.5M scientific study could unlock hundreds of millions of dollars for global kelp forest restoration.
Through an ambitious combination of science, policy and market mechanisms.
This is embodied in the BLUE+ idea
- Scientific research on kelp forest carbon
- Carbon market methodology development for long-term funding
- Policy development that values carbon, biodiversity, fishing, tourism, etc.
1. A new methodology for kelp forest conservation
- Carbon is the largest driver, but other benefits also matter
2. Measures multiple benefits of kelp forests
- Carbon sequestration
- Biodiversity conversation
- Fishing, tourism, recreation
- Cultural heritage
3. Combines funding streams
- Carbon finance from Verra VCUs
- Local community funding and in-kind support
- Fishing and tourism revenue
- Government funding
Goals of Study
1. Scientific research to quantify carbon
sequestration potential of kelp forests
2. Policy work to enable kelp forest conservation as a blue carbon resource
3. Development of a Verra carbon offset methodology for kelp forests
Key Science Questions
Kelp forests are highly dynamic ecosystems with complex carbon accounting. Only a multi-year study with multiple PI's studying biological, chemical and physical oceanography can quantify carbon sequestration with enough accuracy to produce a viable methodology.
1. Quantify atmospheric CO2 sequestered permanently in
- Air-sea gas exchange
- Export of carbon to sediments and deep ocean
- Seasonal variability of kelp forests
- Effects of large storm events
- Carbon export via refractory DOC
2. Quantify carbon contained in a healthy kelp forest
- Total carbon conserved through kelp forest management
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT LEAD
Sustainable Surf / SeaTrees
- California-based 501c3 non-profit Restores blue carbon ecosystems globally
- Conceptualized study to: Understand kelp as a blue carbon resource
- Enable carbon finance to fund kelp forest restoration
Dr. Jen Smith
- Professor of Marine Biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Organizing all other scientists, research plans and budget for the scientific research component
FUNDRAISING AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT
- California-based 501c3 non-profit
- Supports the development of resilient coastal communities and ecosystems, through fundraising, community organizing, and strategy