The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) applauds efforts of the American Carbon Registry and Energy

NEW ORLEANS-The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) applauds efforts of the American Carbon Registry and Entergy Corporation to develop a protocol for quantifying the carbon value of coastal restoration projects, a process that could lead to reducing carbon and serve as a means to finance the restoration of coastal wetlands in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf region.

According to Valsin Marmillion, AWF managing director, the development of protocols that give industry the opportunity to invest in wetland restoration to offset carbon emissions could have a significant impact on the state since Louisiana has the vast majority of the nation's coastal wetlands. The AWF reported to the President's Task Force on Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration that creating beneficial uses of carbon both to reduce carbon and recycle or reuse it as a by-product creates incentives to find market solutions for carbon reduction.

"The American Carbon Registry and Entergy Partnership is a prime example of public private cooperation where the U.S. Government and Gulf states would be unable to afford such a valuable, timely study," Marmillion said.

The American Carbon Registry, a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, today announced an open public comment period for a new methodology to quantify how wetland restoration can help reduce carbon emissions and pay for repairing the disappearing coastal marshes.

The methodology was funded by Entergy Corporation and developed by a team led by Dr. Sarah K. Mack of New Orleans-based Tierra Resources. The methodology, if proven feasible, could help lead to the sale of credits for companies to offset carbon emissions.

For the past year, AWF and Entergy have partnered on research that quantified the economic impacts of climate on the Gulf region. The research has informed the Foundation's Blue Ribbon Resilient Communities project that is helping Gulf Coast communities plan for resiliency in light of sea level rise, more severe storm events and the increased vulnerability of critical infrastructure. Recommendations generated through the forums include establishing a viable CO2 market with incentives and investments in carbon sequestration and reuse through policy and public/private partnerships to create new market mechanisms and establishing protocols for tidal wetlands for use in carbon sequestration.

"We have great hopes for this new research as it is looking at the glass half full and not empty," noted Marmillion. "Entergy Corporation has been visionary in its efforts to help address vulnerabilities and risks due to rising sea level and increased storm events through practical, adaptive approaches by businesses and communities. The Blue Ribbon forums have featured a multi-million dollar study by Entergy and AWF to build greater awareness of vulnerable areas in the five Gulf Coast states, in considering the future and what steps need to be taken to ensure resilient economies, cultures, and environments. Now, through Entergy's funding beneficial use of carbon research, we may be one step closer to establishing coastal wetlands as viable for carbon sequestration and, at the same time, create new markets for carbon credits that could be used to fund wetland restoration."

"Science tells us that using wetlands like we do through reforestation to reduce carbon in the air could provide multiple opportunities," Marmillion said. "Through our national polling and our continuing series of Blue Ribbon Resilient Communities Forums, we have found support for creating new funding streams for coastal restoration and this may provide a new, big idea for raising hard to find restoration dollars. It's a win-win situation."

"We look forward to the comment period on the research and are hopeful about the results," Marmillion said. "There is no single answer to our severe funding needs, but one thing is certain, our coast is in jeopardy without dedicated resources to correct a long-term problem that can further weaken our nation and severely cripple our ecosystem. We are a nation comfortable with cost/benefit ratios, but in this case the cost/deficit ration of inaction is overwhelming and demands action or we will all be big losers."

More information:

American Carbon Registry: Mary Grady, (805) 884-1961,

Entergy Corp.: Mike Burns, (504) 576-4328,

Terra Resources, Dr. Sarah Mack, (504) 339-4547,

America's WETLAND Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has acted as a neutral arbiter for coastal interests since its inception in 2002, elevating issues facing the Gulf Coast, specifically those of coastal land loss, to regional and national attention.

This message and other America's WETLAND Foundation activities are made possible by the generous support by our sponsors including the following: Shell, Chevron, Allstate, API, BG Group, blue moon fund, Coypu Foundation, Entergy, Hornbeck Offshore Services; The McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco(C) brand pepper sauce, The Nature Conservancy, and the Walton Family Foundation, and thousands of individuals worldwide whose contributions support coastal replanting projects in Louisiana.

If your organization would like to join this growing coalition of industry, conservation and environmental organizations across the globe that see wetlands protection as a key to economic growth, please contact us. <>