Tidal Forest Carbon Storage Lecture

March 5, 2020 - 6:30 PM
Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
333 SE Bay Blvd
Newport, OR
MidCoast Watersheds Council

Sitka Spruce-dominated tidal wetland.|Photo courtesy of USFWS.

On Thursday, March 5, 6:30 p.m., the MidCoast Watersheds Council continues its “From Ridgetop to Reef” speaker series with a lecture by Dr. J. Boone Kaufman on “Why conservation and restoration of Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands is of global significance.”   His talk takes place in the Doerfler Family Theatre at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center (333 S.E. Bay Blvd.) in Newport.

Dr. Kauffman, a professor of Ecosystems Ecology within Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences, will delve into his work to study and quantify the total ecosystem carbon stocks in seagrass, emergent marshes, and forested tidal swamps, occurring along increasing elevation and decreasing salinity gradients from Canada to Humboldt Bay, California.

Kauffman received his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of California, Berkeley, and since then has been a busy researcher, publishing over 250 papers, including over 125 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers. He leads educational, research, and technical assistance activities throughout the world.  Dr. Kauffman’s studies have examined the dynamics of land use in marshes, seagrass, mangroves, tropical and temperate forests, and riparian zones.  He serves as a lead scientist for Illahee Sciences International, a small international consulting firm specializing on issues relating to natural resource ecology, currently contributes to the international Blue Carbon science and policy working groups on climate change and mitigation (UNESCO-IUCN-CI), and has been a science advisor to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations.

The “From Ridgetop to Reef” speaker series explores the carbon storage potential of Pacific Northwest coastal ecosystems. Little data exists on the carbon stocks of major tidal wetland types in the Pacific Northwest. Recent efforts have worked to quantify these amounts, revealing that our Sitka Spruce tidal forests can hold as much carbon as our old-growth coast range forests. However, over 90% of these historic forest habitats have been converted to other land uses, and sea-level rise presents a challenge to restore these valuable ecosystems before they become too salty for forested wetland vegetation to survive.  Other talks in this free series about natural climate solutions will continue through June on the first Thursday of each month at the same time and the same place. 

The sponsor asks that attendees consider carpooling, using alternative transportation, and arriving early. It is commercial crab season and nearby bayfront parking outside of the designated Pacific Maritime Heritage Center spaces can be harder to find, and the upper PMHC parking lot should be made available for those with accessibility needs. Refreshments will be provided. The MidCoast Watersheds Council regular Board meeting will follow the presentation to review current restoration work, the monthly financial report, and the work of the technical and administrative committees.

For more information on the speaker series, see