Earlier this month, a tri-national Mexico-Australia-U.S. WILDCOAST team carried out a Blue Carbon Research Expedition at three sites – Loreto Bay National Park, Bahia Magdalena, and La Paz Bay– in the Baja California peninsula to survey some of the most pristine and biologically important coastal desert mangrove forests in the world and to understand their role in helping to regulate and mitigate climate change.
WILDCOAST was joined by two Australian scientists – Dr. Fernanda Adame, Griffith University and world renowned mangrove expert, Dr. Catherine Lovelock of University of Queensland. Together our tri-national team conducted field surveys and sampling to quantify the amount of carbon dioxide that is stored in the coastal desert mangroves of the region.
“It was so inspiring to be with our team of international mangrove and blue carbon experts from Mexico, Australia and the U.S.,” said Dr. Eduardo Najera, WILDCOAST’s Mexico Director. “It is critical to understand the role of desert mangroves to help implement natural climate solutions that help us to preserve ecosystems that sequester increasing levels of carbon in the atmosphere.”
Researchers call the desert mangroves of the Baja California peninsula “atmospheric bombs” because they absorb more carbon dioxide than any other plant on the planet. Since Bahia Magdalena is the largest coastal wetland in the Baja California peninsula and a critical breeding lagoon for the iconic gray whale, the significance of protecting the region and this globally important site has never been more important.
WILDCOAST’s Blue Carbon aims to protect a total of 71,374 acres of mangroves in northwest Mexico over the next four to five years, and will effectively reduce carbon emissions by 26.7 million tons.
The project will expedite the approval of conservation concessions for 35,796 acres of mangroves and enable WILDCOAST to pursue a carbon credit registration process for financing continued mangrove conservation and management.