Royal Boskalis and Westlands International plan to explore the potential of blue carbon. Goal is to enhance and restore coastal wetland habitats that not only support coastal protection and fisheries, but store some of the world’s largest quantities of carbon.

The recently signed agreement will see the organisations first focus on developing the expertise and knowledge of “blue carbon” ecosystems that can contribute to climate targets, adaptation and biodiversity conservation. Blue carbon refers to the carbon stored by the world’s coastal ecosystems, mostly mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses.

Protecting coastlines

With increasing risks of flooding and erosion, the impacts of climate change on coastal systems and communities are becoming ever more apparent. The dredging sector has a large role to play in safeguarding these areas, providing innovative ways to protect coastlines and introducing adaptive measures.

As a dredging and marine contractor, Boskalis is ‘keen to further develop nature-based solutions to protect and enrich coastal ecosystems from the consequences of climate change,’ adds Theo Baartmans, Board Member and Chief Operating Officer at Boskalis. ‘By collaborating with Wetlands International we can combine our respective areas of expertise to protect and further enhance coastal wetland habitats in terms of biodiversity whilst simultaneously utilizing their potential to store carbon.’

Building with nature

Boskalis and Wetlands International have worked together for several years as active members of Ecoshape, a pioneering consortium developing “building with nature” principles to support nature-based flood defenses, coastal restoration, resilient deltas and sustainable ports.

Picture: Sand suppletion on the Dutch coast (by inyucho).