Hobsons Bay City Council (HBCC) is one of the first Australian city councils to recognize the importance of coastal ecosystems by assessing the blue carbon-storing potential in the region. The region (65 km²) boasts a range of blue carbon ecosystems, including mangroves (2 ha), seagrass meadows (108 ha) and saltmarshes (251 ha). These ecosystems offer a range of benefits including supporting coastal fisheries, protecting our coastlines, storing carbon (aka blue carbon) and providing areas for tourism and recreational activities.
The Blue Carbon Lab and HBCC’s recent project takes a snapshot of Hobsons Bay’s blue carbon habitats, illustrates their changes over time, and quantifies their economic benefits for the climate and local community. This comprehensive analysis allowed the BCL to outline opportunities for coastal restoration in Hobsons Bay, ensuring that HBCC takes full advantage of these valuable environments.
But don’t stop at this short summary – follow along with the project’s “StoryMap,” which summarises BCL’s findings with interactive illustrations and clear visuals.
Australia is home to more blue carbon than any other country, locking away harmful carbon below the soggy sediment of marshes and mangroves. In this report, we found that Hobsons Bay’s blue carbon ecosystems are effectively storing approximately 13,200 tonnes of organic carbon within the top 30cm of sediment!
This project clearly portrays the economic value of HBCC’s blue carbon ecosystems for multiple industries and services, such as fisheries, recreation, and coastal protection.
It is evident that Hobsons Bay’s coastal ecosystems are important – for the planet, local economy, and community – and this project paves the way for other cities and countries to evaluate their own blue carbon potential to enable future restoration and climate solutions.