Wetlands are known for being able to store carbon, and while one researcher at the Saskatchewan Research Council says it can hold a large amount, we don’t know exactly how much, and how much would be released if someone chose to disturb the ecosystem.
Senior Research Scientist Mark Johnston is part of a team at the SRC that recently wrapped up the second year of work to create a protocol that would estimate a wetland’s carbon storage, and to provide recommendations on ways to protect the wetland from being damaged.
Johnston says they want to ensure the protocol is “doable in the field, by people who aren’t necessarily the world’s experts in this area”, such as a conservation officer or people who are building near a wetland. He also notes preserving wetlands aren’t just critical for carbon storage, but would also protect species that rely on the landscape for survival.
The SRC has spent the past two years, in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, working at a wetlands site in Manitoba, but Johnston notes that Saskatchewan has a very similar wetlands landscape to our neighbours to the east.
Johnston says they hope to have a protocol developed by the end of next year.