Herring River Estuary Restoration Market Feasibility Assessment – USA

A feasibility assessment is the first step in connecting carbon finance to a restoration project. This feasibility study (led by Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve with partners Restore America’s Estuaries, Cape Cod National Seashore, U.S. Geological Survey, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, West Virginia University, The Friends of Herring River, University of Rhode Island, and Marine Biological Laboratory) will review the plans for the Herring River Estuary Restoration Project, by examining the market, technical, financial and legal feasibility of bringing the project to market, and will estimate costs and expected greenhouse gas impacts. The planned restoration project will restore natural tidal flow to nearly 1,000 acres of one of the largest tidally-restricted estuaries in the northeastern United States.

This project is expected to achieve greenhouse gas benefits, particularly methane (CH4) emission reductions as tidal flow and subsequent salinity increases within the estuary. This analysis will determine if the restoration project can be developed as a carbon offset project using the Verified Carbon Standard VM0033 Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration. Showing proof-of concept for blue carbon offset projects on the voluntary carbon market can help to promote the use of blue carbon ecosystem services to drive restoration and bring in new project partners, and can catalyze additional projects and lessons learned.

For more information, contact Steve Emmett-Mattox of Restore Americas Estuaries (sem@estuaries.org).