Venetian Wetland Restoration: The Best Alternative to Carbon Capture and Sequestration.

D&D scientists are discovering that the restoration of the Venetian vulnerable ecosystems could provide a valuable bulwark to climate change by creating a potent carbon sinks. A 1.2 million Carbon Credit obtained in Venetian wetlands are launched by the D&D Consulting s.a.s. International research this summer , according to the BIOS B Neutral program . 



Brachish lagoon in the North-Italy Venetian area

These credit are available for the international CO2 voluntary market


The D&D Consulting project has captured eye-popping amounts of carbon—an average of  3000 grams of carbon per square meter per year (g-C/m2/yr) in the  Venetian brachish lagoon called “Valli da Pesca”.

For comparison, reforested agricultural land, eligible for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, socks away carbon at a rate much less than 100 g­C/m2/yr, says Gail Chmura, a biogeochemist at McGill University (Canada)..


The Venetian saltwater marshes provide biggest cooling potential

The D&D researchers determined that saltwater marshes provided the most bang for the buck. Wetlands are great at storing carbon dioxide because of their near-constant water cover, which prevents oxygen from entering the muddy soil; this effectively keeps bacterial decomposition, a process which releases a lot of  CO2  to a minimum.

In fact, unperturbed wetlands are so effective that their peat soils can sometimes be 60 ft deep and over 7,000 years old. The D&D Italian Venetian project, which is also started out in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, will be expanded aover all the world to determine whether the restored wetlands can help regain the land elevation lost when the delta island was drained a century ago and to see whether "wetland carbon credits" could be sold on the state's upcoming carbon market.

This all sounds well and good, but  it is VERY IMPORTANT that urging caution, pointing out that the project  can provide methane emissions . Though they may not cancel out the beneficial cooling effects of the wetlands' carbon storage, the emission levels could still be relatively significant --especially on a large scale.


the Italian "Valle da Pesca" saltwater marches
The Venice city inside the lagoon

One reason for concern, according to University of Florida biogeochemist Ramesh Reddy, is that the same low oxygen to anoxic conditions that favor carbon storage also favor the release of methane. Even if the bacteria can't access oxygen, they can use iron oxides, CO2 or sulfate as sources of electron acceptors. Using CO2 produces methane emissions.

This makes saltwater marshes all the more appealing, says Doimi Mauro , the master of the D&D Project :

Because saltwater is high in sulfate, microbes in saltwater marshes don’t have to use CO2 as an electron acceptor, and therefore they produce negligible amounts of methane, Doimi says. We estimates that all the measured  Venetian “Valli da Pesca salt marshes” sequester an average of 285 kg-C/m2/yr.  The  human and private land management ,avoid the methane release . The Carbon Capture and Storage rates, along with an ability to accrete  carbon faster as the sea level rises, make saltwater marshes ideal sites for restoration  and carbon storage, he says.

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