Modeling the economic value of carbon sequestration by wetlands in the Delaware Estuary : historic estimates and future projections

Thumbnail Image
Carr, Edward W.
Shirazi, Yosef
Parsons, George R.
Hoagland, Porter
Sommerfield, Christopher K.
Alternative Title
Date Created
Replaced By
Carbon sequestration
Blue carbon
Tidal wetlands
Ecosystem services
Social cost of carbon
Coastal wetlands sequester large amounts of carbon in their soils, effectively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and acting as a carbon sink. In this paper, we estimate the economic value of carbon sequestered by wetlands in the Delaware Estuary. We estimate the value of the current stock of wetlands, the value of the historic loss of wetlands, and under a range of different scenarios the expected future loss. We use historical topographic maps and Land Cover inventories of the Delaware Estuary to measure the acreage of tidal wetlands in nine distinct time periods from 1778 to 2011. Using these data, we estimate an annual rate of wetland loss of 1.03km2. Coupling observed land cover change with exogenous factors including sea-level rise, population pressure, and channel dredging, we estimate changes in tidal wetland area under a range of future scenarios for our expected future economic loss estimates.
© The Author(s), 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here under a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license granted to WHOI. It is made available for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Environmental Management 206 (2018): 40-50, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.10.018.
Embargo Date
Cruise ID
Cruise DOI
Vessel Name