Latest News and Resources for Ocean Planners

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Wetlands and seagrass restoration can now earn carbon credits

The Verified Carbon Standard, which sets guidelines for carbon accounting, has approved the Methodology for Tidal Wetland and Seagrass Restoration (VM0033). The methodology provides procedures for calculating, reporting, and verifying greenhouse gas reductions for tidal wetland restoration projects anywhere in the world. This methodology will allow salt marsh, seagrass, mangrove, and other tidal wetland restoration projects – such as removing tidal barriers, improving water quality to increase seagrass habitat, and re-introducing native plant communities – to earn carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market, generating new sources of funding. Learn more about the new standard at https://www.estuaries.org/restoration-methodology-approval. A free webinar on the new standard will be held on February 25. Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6157987866865665538.


Researchers refute overestimates of global value of ecosystem services

A team of economists has published a short communication in the journal Marine Policy refuting recent estimates of the global value of ecosystem services (as high as $145 trillion/year in 2007 USD). Pendleton and colleagues reject estimates of the per area value of coral reefs ($352,249/ha) and coastal wetlands (as high as $193,843/ha for tidal marshes and mangroves) as gross overestimates because outlier value estimates were used. The article is available for free at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15003620


Report offers framework for resolving commercial fishing-offshore wind conflicts

A new report “Options for Cooperation between Commercial Fishing and Offshore Wind Energy Industries” released by SeaPlan compiles best practices for addressing potential use conflicts and fostering cooperation between the commercial fishing and offshore wind energy industries. The best practices are based on a review of the literature, informal interviews with practitioners from Europe and the US, and SeaPlan’s experience working on the Block Island Wind Farm (Rhode Island, US) and related projects. The report identifies five main categories of potential concerns and tools and practices for addressing them. It is available here.


Case studies and lessons learned for engaging communities in offshore wind shared

The Island Institute has released a new report, “Engaging Communities in Offshore Wind: Case Studies and Lessons Learned from New England Islands.” The report describes best practices for designing community engagement processes and how these best practices were implemented in New England islands. The report is available at http://www.islandinstitute.org/sites/default/files/EngagingCommunitiesOffshoreWind_2015_web.pdf.


Fisheries and aquaculture vulnerability assessment steps proposed

A new publication from FAO provides an overview of vulnerability assessment concepts and methodologies, how these methodologies have been applied to fisheries and aquaculture, and illustrative examples of their application. Steps for assessing vulnerability in the fisheries and aquaculture sector are proposed to support climate change specialists working with communities dependent on fisheries and aquaculture, and fisheries and aquaculture practitioners wishing to incorporate adaptation planning into their work. Download the document at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5109e.pdf.