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Source: Auckland Council

A survey of marine carbon sequestered (captured and stored) in the Waiheke marine environment will be carried out over the next few months, thanks to support from Waiheke Local Board.

Carbon Neutral Waiheke has been allocated $2000 in the most recent Quick Response Grant funding round to purchase the data needed to complete the calculations.

Using Geographic Information System (GIS) data as a baseline for the area of seagrass meadows, mangrove swamps, salt marshes, wetlands and kelp beds on Waiheke, the amount of marine carbon sequestered can be determined. Every year or two, these areas will be recalculated to show whether the island is increasing or decreasing in its ability to absorb carbon.

The Waiheke Local Board has developed its Climate Action Plan which aims to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions on the island with the aim of making Waiheke fossil fuel free by 2030, and net carbon positive by 2040.

“To achieve the ‘net carbon positive’ aim will require either, covering most of Waiheke in trees or protecting and restoring the island’s marine environment including its wetlands and mangrove,” says chairperson of Carbon Neutral New Zealand Trust, Lindsay Jeffs.

“We know that half of the carbon dioxide that is recaptured from the atmosphere goes into our oceans. Wetlands can store five times more carbon than tropical rainforests.”

This project will help to achieve these aims by providing a baseline to encourage protection and regeneration actions and measure progress. 

Carbon Neutral Waiheke has also been asked to establish the carbon footprint of the island.

Current grant funding opportunities

Local and Environmental Grant funding rounds for Waiheke Local Board are currently open for applications until 5 August 2022. If your community project or activity fits with local board priorities, you could be eligible for grant funding. Learn more and apply here.

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