Sat, 11 Sept

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Brighton

Blue Carbon Ramble

Join the Brighton Ramblers and marine scientist Scott for a walk along the Undercliff and learn about blue carbon (= carbon stored by marine & coastal habitats), with a focus on the restoration of local kelp forests between Brighton and Selsey.

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Blue Carbon Ramble

Time & Location

11 Sept 2021, 10:00

Brighton, Brighton Marina, Brighton, UK

About the Event

The Event: We will walk alsong the Undercliff Walk from Brighton Marina to either Rottingdean or Saltdean, depending on the preference of the group. During the walk, Scott will talk about blue carbon and there will be plenty of time to ask questions and chat. 

Facilities / Accessibility: There are Public Toilets at Ovingdean Café and at Saltdean. The walk itself is an easy to walk concrete pathway, suitable for all abilities. The walk to Rottingdean is approx. 2.5 miles, to Saltdean it's approx. 3 miles one way.

BLUE CARBON:

Marine ecosystems like seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangroves absorb or ‘draw down’ carbon dioxide from the water and atmosphere. The storage of carbon in marine habitats is called blue carbon. The storage of blue carbon can be in the plants themselves, like seaweed and seagrass; in the seafloor sediment where plants are rooted; or even in the animals which live in the water, including seabirds, fish and larger mammals.

  • Globally, salt marshes and seagrass – blue carbon sinks – draw down and store between them 235-450 million tonnes of carbon a year; almost half the emissions from the entire global transport sector.
  • Scientists estimate that saltmarsh and seagrass habitats fix and store carbon at two to four times the rate of mature tropical forests. This means the UK’s salt marshes and seagrass beds have the carbon storage potential of between 1,000 and 2,000 km2 of tropical forests.
  • The UK’s shelf seas cover some 500,000 km2 and are estimated to store 205 million tonnes of carbon in seabed sediments – approximately 50 million tonnes more than held within our entire stock of standing forests – along with coastal seagrass and saltmarsh habitats, UK marine ecosystems store about 220 million tonnes of carbon.

In my talk, I will introduce the concept of “blue carbon” and talk about the potential that rewilding our seas and coasts has for the capture of carbon as well as for further climate change mitigation. I will specifically touch on the Help our Kelp project by the Sussex WT which looks to restore 200 sqkm of lost kelp forests between Brighton and Selsey as well as talk about my own research on UK salt marshes.

Background: I hold a BSc in Environmental and Sustainability Studies as well as an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection, with my thesis focussing on the carbon storage capacity of UK salt marshes and how it may be affected by future sea level rise. My research interest is in coastal ecosystems and coastal management, especially human-nature interactions and participatory methods in stakeholder engagement, as well as ABR (arts-based research). I am a former professional musician and am still active making “Music for the Planet” with my band The Lürxx. I also hold a MA in Classics and am passionate about Latin and Ancient History as well as about nature conservation and science communication. I founded the Plover Rovers in 2020 while being on furlough from my job as a marine biologist.

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