Port of Baltimore
At a Glance
Jon-Michael Murray helped the Maryland Port Administration created a tool to prioritize restoration projects to maximize carbon sequestration benefits.
The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) oversees the disposal of 2.5 million cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Chesapeake Bay annually. For the past several decades the sediment has been used to restore eroded silands in Chesapeake Bay. In accordance with its mandate for ‘beneficial use’, the MPA has developed habitats including wetlands on the restored islands, creating potential carbon sinks. As part of its ongoing efforts to improve air, land and water quality, the MPA enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Jon-Michael Murray to assess the feasibility of accounting for carbon sequestration benefits at the restored wtlands and habiatas at these dredge material confinement facilities.
Murray focused on researching the underlying suitability of the tools used for a carbon sequestration study to develop new methods to provide a more precise analysis of carbon sequestration, including wetlands classifications, salinity and types of vegetation. In addition, he investigated the conditions most conducive to carbon sequestration at these dredged material confinement facilties and ways to take advantage of the proposed carbon sequestration benefits. Using the identified screening modeling tools such as Blue Carbon Caluculator and methodologies prescribed there in, Murray calculated annual and multi-decadal sequestration rates on different restored ecosystems at two different MPA-owned dredged material containment facilities in the Chesapeake Bay.
The findings of the carbon sequestration benefits assessment provided the MPA with actionable information to jumpstart more in-depth sequestration analyses. The methods for identifying suitable dredged material sites for optimal sequestration will allow the MPA to not only offsets some of its own emissions activities but potentially create a new incentive for restoration funding. Murray’s research will help the MPA prioritize restoration efforts specifically to maximize carbon sequestration value in future.