Salt marshes are among the most productive habitats on earth, providing habitat and food sources for a wide variety fish and shellfish on which our local fishing community depends, as well as for other marine life and birds.
Did you know that healthy salt marshes also play a role in addressing climate change? Blue Carbon is a term used to describe carbon captured and retained by tidal wetlands and seagrass beds. Preliminary estimates based on current science indicate that restoration of salt marsh in Herring River floodplain would result a substantial reduction in the net volume of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere.
With increased tide range and saltwater inundation, hundreds of tons of carbon that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas would be buried within the Herring River flood plain soils as they build and increase in elevation. Tidal restoration of Herring River would also reduce methane emissions from the system as saltwater wetlands are re-established in place of freshwater wetlands. Avoidance of methane emissions is particularly significant since it is known to be approximately 20 times more potent as a heat trapping gas in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.