Restoring estuaries, sequestering carbon could go hand in hand in Comox Valley

The B.C. Ministry of Environment is providing $30,000 toward the first phase of research involving blue carbon projects in the Comox Valley.

COMOX VALLEY PROJECT Watershed Society chair Paul Horgen

The B.C. Ministry of Environment is providing $30,000 towards the first phase of scientific research planning involving blue carbon projects in the Comox Valley.

Environment Minister Terry Lake was in town Tuesday to announce the funding and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Vancouver Island University and the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society. The partnership is intended to better understand climate change and improvements to coastal ecosystems — and potentially provide economic benefits.

“This just seemed like an amazing opportunity,” said Lake, noting B.C. has 27,200 kilometres of coastline and 422 estuaries to work with.

“Imagine the work that’s being done here in the Comox Valley could be replicated across British Columbia, and what that could mean in terms of sequestering carbon, restoring estuaries and providing an environmental benefit for all British Columbians.

“The amount of money we’re investing today with our Memorandum of Understanding is relatively small,” Lake added. “The application and the benefits are huge.”

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in the marine environment, shellfish, plants and sediment. Healthy estuaries remove and store carbon dioxide, possibly even more effectively than plants on land.

“I believe this is something we can explore outside of our province,” Comox Valley MLA Don McRae said. “This is something that can benefit communities from Alaska to California.”

Project Watershed chair Paul Horgen said eelgrass meadows are disappearing from estuaries because of pollution, habitat destruction and burial.

“Their loss is a loss of an important natural carbon sink,” Horgen said.

The three parties have agreed to:

•    Identify additional areas for blue carbon projects along the B.C. coast;

•    Evaluate the cost per tonne for such projects;

• Undertake projects involving shoreline and estuary protection, and habitat restoration activities on private and public lands;

• Undertake research and analysis to support the creation and sale of greenhouse gas offsets from blue carbon projects that will be recognized as quality offsets in international markets.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Courtenay 2019 annual report available for review

The City of Courtenay has released the draft 2019 Annual Report highlighting… Continue reading

Scaled-down Comox Valley Exhibition set for Aug. 28-30

The Comox Valley Exhibition is a go for 2020. The annual event… Continue reading

Military personnel relocation producing many foreign licence plates in the Comox Valley

Comox Mayor Russ Arnott is asking the public to consider the possible… Continue reading

Royston pub wants people to ‘drop five’ to keep music alive

Charlie Aiken thinks his plan can help artists and venues alike

Comox Valley Indigenous woman pushing for hockey name change

Agi Seaweed Wisden says the headdress isn’t even part of Island Indigenous culture

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read