The Kenai Lowlands cover 9,400 square kilometers, with much of the area comprised of wetlands and over half of the landscape characterized as peatlands. These wetlands sequester large stores of carbon, preventing the carbon from entering the atmosphere. In 2016, at the request of the Kachemak Bay Community Council, a group of municipalities, government agencies, and local non-profits, the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve partnered with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to conduct pilot tests of saltmarsh carbon sequestration. The results spurred interest in blue carbon valuation throughout the region.
A 2018 Science Transfer project is building on Kachemak Bay Reserve's expertise in wetland ecosystem function and ecosystem services to map carbon stores in Kenai Peninsula wetlands and explore opportunities for engaging local stakeholders in valuing wetlands. This factsheet describes the project approach, anticipated benefits, anticipated products, and targeted end users.