Carbon sequestration is a natural or artificial process that removes carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. The most common example in nature is during the photosynthesis process of trees and plants, which store carbon as they absorb CO2 from the air. Carbon sequestration plays an important role in preventing global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by preserving carbon "sinks" such as forests and wetlands.
A carbon offset is a certificate representing the reduction of one metric ton (approximately 2,205 lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon offsets can be purchased and used by anyone to compensate (offset) the emissions of their activities such as traveling or building. Revenue generated from carbon offsets helps fund projects that sequester carbon.
The City of Arcata oversees multiple programs and projects that actively sequester carbon:
Arcata Community Forest - The Management Plan emphasizes carbon sequestration by growing trees on extended rotations, designating reserves and adding forest acres that could otherwise be developed.
Riparian Forest Establishment - Established more than 100 acres of new riparian forest along creeks and bottomlands.
Salt Marsh Project - The McDaniel Slough Marsh Restoration Project sequesters additional carbon on its 240-acre site. This project is a case study that will be used to help develop sequestration protocols for salt marsh restoration activities.
Urban Forestry Project - Active program to expand the planting of trees in the urban landscape including parks, roadside greenways, and the downtown area (i.e. the Plaza).
Forest Carbon Offsets for Purchase
You are invited to help sequester carbon by buying carbon offsets ($18/metric ton) from the Arcata Community Forest. Complete and submit a purchase form via fax, mail, or email. Purchase forms are also available at the Environmental Services Department at Arcata City Hall and at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.
For more information contact the Environmental Services Department: (707) 822-8184.