Impact Capital Partners has joined The Ocean Foundation (TOF) in their effort to plant and protect coastal wetlands to fight climate change. This amazing non-profit organization has widely promoted the concept of Blue Carbon — the capacity of the natural ecosystems of seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves to sequester large quantities of carbon in both the plants themselves and the sediment below.
Recognizing that SeaGrass can help mitigate climate change while promoting ocean health, TOF created the first and only blue carbon calculator called SeaGrass Grow. This calculator helps individuals and organizations quantify the amount of blue carbon resources needed to be restored or protected to offset their carbon footprint.
According to the Ocean Foundation, between 2–7% of the earth’s seagrass meadows, mangroves and other coastal wetlands are lost annually. That’s a 7x increase compared to only 50 years ago. This can be attributed to a number of issues threatening the long-term survival seagrass populations in our coastal zone. However, human pollution has been the primary contributor to seagrass declines around the world.
High nutrient levels in the ocean, often due to agricultural and urban runoff, cause algae blooms that shade the seagrass. This reduces the light available to seagrass and can even kill whole populations. Other threats to seagrass include damage to the leaves, stems and roots by boat propellers, trawlers’ nets, and dredging.
Loss of seagrass habitats leads to losses in marine ecosystem productivity as well as extinction of species that depend on seagrass for survival. Additionally, it means destroying one of the world’s most powerful, natural defences against climate change.
A hectare of SeaGrass can soak up 15 times more carbon dioxide every year than a similar sized piece of the Amazon rainforest. While this ancient plant occupies just 0.1% of the seafloor, it is responsible for 11% of the organic carbon buried in the ocean.
The Seagrass Solution
Since 2008, The Ocean Foundation has been involved in many coastal restoration projects for seagrasses, tidal marshes and mangroves. By promoting the concept of Blue Carbon — the capacity of these natural ecosystems to combat climate change – the Ocean Foundation hopes to grow participation and support.
Through this innovative program, individuals or businesses can calculate the carbon footprint of their home, workplace or travel and offset it to restore and protect seagrass. In 2016, the Ocean Foundation completely redesigned its carbon offset program, working with various corporations, foundations, events, & individuals to develop the most appropriate offset approach for them.
Why It’s Important
With almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives, we force more and more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. It’s just a fact of modern life. There are many things you can do to reduce your footprint, but that’s not always enough. By offsetting your carbon footprint, you’re ensuring that you’re not adding to climate change and you are defending our planet from it.