Pocosin Wetland Restoration
The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, has in the approval process a new wetlands methodology entitled Accounting for the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Benefits of Pocosin Restoration. The methodology details the requirements for land managers to quantify the GHG emissions reductions associated with rewetting previously drained pocosin wetlands. The methodology was developed by The Nature Conservancy and TerraCarbon LLC.
Pocosins are unique freshwater wetlands, often shrub-dominated, on organic soils in the Atlantic coastal plain of the southeastern United States that are seasonally saturated primarily through precipitation. Under typical hydrologic conditions, decomposition of the organic soils is inhibited, allowing for accumulation of organic carbon. However after drainage occurs (often for conversion to agriculture or forestry) the ability for these wetlands to be a carbon sink is greatly diminished.
The methodology’s baseline scenario assumes the continuation of a pre-existing drained state, and accounts for ongoing GHG emissions associated with the decline of the soil organic carbon (peat) pool that occurs with drainage.
The methodology was open for public comment through June 3, 2016.