Blue carbon: A better tomorrow begins below

By: Kristin M. Kleisner and Jamie Collins

As we embark this year on the United Nations Ocean Decade, you may be hearing quite a bit about blue carbon. But what is it, and why is it so important for the future of our planet?  Well, the oceans play a critical role in trapping carbon, and they have absorbed about a third of all human-generated carbon emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution. This is important because the carbon that human activity has released into the atmosphere acts as an accelerator of climate change.

When carbon is stored naturally in the various parts of ocean and coastal ecosystems — sequestering it, or taking it out of the atmosphere, where it could contribute to warming — we call it blue carbon. The blue carbon storage reservoir includes waters, sediments, and marine plants and animals. Unfortunately, loss of habitat, overfishing and other human impacts, including those from climate change, are reducing the ability of the oceans to trap carbon. That’s why we are exploring pathways to restore these benefits now and help to secure a better future for us all. You can learn more about blue carbon and some of the ways in which we may be able to restore key pathways using this interactive site. Read More »

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Inclusivity & Aquaculture: An interview with Imani Black

A sustainable aquaculture industry in the United States has the potential to provide both environmental and economic benefits — and EDF is committed to supporting legislation that prioritizes strong regulations while supporting the industry’s efforts to make sure those benefits are felt broadly. That’s why EDF connected with Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture, or MIA, to understand how we can foster more diversity and inclusivity in the traditionally white, male aquaculture industry. Read our conversation below to learn why Imani founded MIA, her prescriptions for a growing industry and why she believes the work she loves can give everyone an equal opportunity to thrive. Read More »

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Women fishers are vital to the livelihoods, food security, health and culture of billions worldwide

By Karly Kelso, Director of Climate Resilient Food Systems at EDF, and Michelle Tigchelaar, Research Scientist at Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

Three billion people depend on our oceans, rivers and lakes for nutritious blue foods. By 2050, our global population is expected to reach 10 billion and global demand for blue foods is expected to roughly double. Blue foods, including fish, shellfish and seaweeds, provide vital nutrients like protein, zinc, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids — nutrients important for all sexes and ages but especially for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. We must ensure that blue food systems are environmentally sustainable in a changing climate, that they can continue to nourish our global population, and that they contribute to thriving coastal communities and gender equality. Read More »

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Indonesia-Philippines learning exchange: International collaboration for fisheries management

Effective fisheries management is critical to food security, livelihoods for millions of people and vibrant marine life and biodiversity. By empowering communities to sustainably manage marine resources, we can build resilience to climate change, secure healthy oceans and better protect communities that are vulnerable to extreme weather events. This is especially true in the Philippines, where science-based and participatory fisheries management is still in its infancy. Read More »

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Natural climate solutions cut a steady course through a sea of proposals for ocean carbon dioxide reduction

When it comes to slowing the warming of our planet, there is no substitute for immediate, dramatic reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. But emissions reductions alone won’t be enough to limit warming to the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal at the heart of the 2015 Paris Agreement, or even to the Agreement’s upper limit of 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, we’ll almost certainly need to complement emissions reductions with big investments in carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, to capture and lock away some of the carbon dioxide we’ve already emitted.

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Something ‘fishy’ is happening in Congress

If you follow the goings-on of the U.S. Congress, you know that the final months of the year have become a sprint to the finish line marked by bursts of legislative energy and must-pass bills. This year is even more energetic than most. Read More »

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