Blue Carbon Heat Maps
Heat maps of blue carbon stocks, including eelgrass meadows and tidal marsh, from Salem Sound, Massachusetts, to the Piscataqua River, New Hampshire (left) and along the Maine coast from Freeport to Waldoboro (right).
Heat maps of blue carbon stocks, including eelgrass meadows and tidal marsh, from Salem Sound, Massachusetts, to the Piscataqua River, New Hampshire (upper) and along the Maine coast from Freeport to Waldoboro (lower).
In response to the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premier 2017 Climate Change Action Plan recommendation to “manage blue carbon resources to preserve and enhance their existing carbon reservoirs,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with assistance from the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), convened a New England Blue Carbon Inventory Workgroup (comprised of a variety of federal, New England state, academic, and non-profit organizations) to develop an inventory of blue carbon stocks from Maine to Long Island, New York.
The Workgroup focused its inventory efforts on salt marshes and eelgrass meadows, leveraging existing habitat maps available on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. Additional existing data for soil organic carbon stocks were then used to calculate blue carbon stock estimates. For visual display purposes, sediment carbon heat maps were developed to highlight areas of greatest carbon accumulation. The heat maps can also be accessed on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. The findings from the Workgroup’s efforts and the resulting map products can help inform land and coastal management policies, fisheries management, and climate change mitigation practices. Further refinements and expansion of data are needed, including more detailed habitat maps, deeper soil core data for soil organic carbon content, and inclusion of more marine flora into calculations.
The Workgroup will continue refining blue carbon data products in 2023-2024 through NROC’s Coastal and Ocean Ecosystem Health Committee.
Read the Blue Carbon Heat Maps Metadata
Read the Workgroup’s report: The Blue Carbon Reservoirs from Maine to Long Island, NY