The past month has been an absolute grind! Between my fellowship with The Nature Conservancy, the Center for the Blue Economy/MARCO, promotion to Ocean Rescue Lieutenant and planning my move to Monterey, I have been extremely busy. I also had the opportunity to compete in USLA Lifesaving Nationals in South Padre Island, Texas in August adding onto all of the excitement. Having both of my fellowships online has given me a tremendous amount of freedom in where and when I do my work. I have been able to complete work for both fellowships in Maryland, Delaware and Texas this month alone!
This month I have spent a large portion of my time learning about California laws around carbon and climate change.I learned a very useful online tool that allows one to see which laws are currently in place and those that are still in process.The website also includes notes from the meetings about the law and various changes. This has been very helpful when analyzing blue carbon potential in California and also understanding how new of a topic it is. California carbon markets only allow credits for blue carbon projects under the voluntary market. As I have learned that blue carbon sequesters four times the amount of carbon as forests, the government should consider these projects eligible.
Reading through these laws allows me to better understand how The Nature Conservancy can become involved in the expediting of the process of blue carbon projects. It also demonstrates the urgency of getting blue carbon projects into law.
It is also evident how new of a topic blue carbon is in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The past month I have been researching blue carbon stocks in five Mid-Atlantic states; Maryland, Delaware, New York, Virginia and New Jersey. I discovered that there are several ways to measure a carbon stock and there is not much available data.
In my second fellowship with Professor Charlie Colgan, we are reaching an important milestone in the next few weeks. I was tasked with preparing the first draft on blue carbon in the Mid-Atlantic region for MARCO. At the beginning of the summer, I was unaware of the opportunity to write a part of the paper. I believe all of the papers from Ocean and Coastal Economics last semester have prepared me fairly well for this!
Over the course of my final week with both fellowships, I plan on finalizing my draft for both TNC and CBE/MARCO . Writing both of these papers will prepare me for the start of the new school year in a little less than a week. I am looking forward to the final products for both of my deliverables!