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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Blue Carbon Ecosystems in San Diego: Exploring the Soil and Challenges of Restoring Coastal Wetlands

The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

Recent research and publications have highlighted the importance of protecting and restoring coastal wetlands to sequester carbon. Blue carbon, the term for the carbon stored in vegetated coastal ecosystems, has spurred an increase in research to better understand the sheer amount and value of carbon stored in those ecosystems. Global and local coastal wetlands provide a multitude of benefits to society in addition to carbon sequestration. For example, providing protection from storms and sea level rise, pollution abatement, biodiversity, fisheries value, and outdoor space for communities. Given the many benefits of coastal wetlands, there has also been an increase in restoration efforts. Restoration is complex, requiring an understanding of a variety of fields from biology to politics. In the case of wetlands, restoration requires soils suitable to optimal growth of vegetation so that the various and vital ecosystem services provided by wetlands can be maximized. Potential added benefits to restoration include augmenting restoration sites with biologically inactive carbon, biochar, in order to maximize blue carbon stocks, carbon credits to offset restoration costs, and sustainable practices.

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