Big blue carbon boost to restore mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes

30 June 2022

The Australian Government will help restore blue carbon ecosystems across Australia, including mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes, by investing $9.5 million to support five new practical restoration projects.

Blue carbon means coastal and marine ecosystems that capture carbon, such as mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes.

Australia is home to about 12 percent of the world’s blue carbon ecosystems. These ecosystems are up to five times better at storing carbon than rainforests.

Blue carbon ecosystems support marine life, contribute to coastal livelihoods, and provide protection from storm surges. But they also absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their soils, roots and plants, which helps deal with climate change.

Blue carbon ecosystems have the added benefit of improving biodiversity and water quality.

The five projects were chosen based on ecosystem variety, scale of restoration, partnerships with local communities and Traditional Owners, as well as the benefits provided to biodiversity, fishing, water quality, and coastal protection.

This announcement follows on from the Australian Government this week endorsing the Joint Declaration on the creation of a Global Coalition for Blue Carbon at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Quote attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water:

“We’re giving Blue Carbon a big boost because it both helps restore some of our most fragile environments and deal with climate change.

“Ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes provide critical breeding grounds for fish, habitats for threatened marine species such as turtles and dugongs, and feeding and staging grounds for migratory birds.

“They also filter water flowing into our oceans and reef systems.

“Backing Blue Carbon is a great investment. It’s a win for the environment, it’s a win for the economy, it’s a win for the climate, and the community.”

Funding recipients and projects:

Funding recipient Project Funding (exc. GST)
Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Partners

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Blue Carbon Wetland Restoration Project

Restoration of former farming land to coastal wetlands with benefits for carbon sequestration, biodiversity, flood mitigation, recreation and First Nations engagement.

Greening Australia

Ingham, Queensland

Mungalla Blue Carbon Project

Tidal restoration of former cattle grazing property with benefits for Indigenous heritage, ecotourism, Great Barrier Reef water quality, and bird and marine biodiversity

The University of Adelaide

Port Gawler, South Australia

Gulf St Vincent Seagrass Restoration Project

Seagrass restoration project with benefits for marine biodiversity, sediment stabilisation, shoreline protection and nutrient processing.

Southern Regional Natural Resource Management

Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, Tasmania

Demonstrating Outcomes of Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration of Temperate Saltmarsh

Cool climate tidal marsh restoration with benefits for coastal resilience, biodiversity, recreational fisheries and tourism.

The Nature Conservancy Australia and Partners

Upper Gulf St Vincent, South Australia

South Australian Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Project

Tidal marsh restoration with benefits for biodiversity, social and cultural values.