Friday April 21, 2023


When we first visited Dutch Slough in eastern Contra Costa County last year, the recently restored tidal marsh was already flourishing. But hiding among the reeds was a critical question. How effective would the marsh be at sequestering carbon? A key benefit of restoring wetlands in the age of climate change.

“For doing the inhaling and exhaling, and we’re trying to inhale more carbon dioxide and then exhaling oxygen that we need,” explains University of California biometeorology professor Dennis Baldocchi, Ph.D.

Prof. Baldocchi’s team placed sensitive instruments in the slough to measure greenhouse gases and other data in multiple ways. He says the results after more than a year of monitoring show that the tidal marsh is acting as a powerful carbon sink, drawing CO2 into the ground where it should remain sequestered, instead of contributing to climate change.

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