Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blue Carbon Field Trip - Florida Keys

Blue Carbon Field Trip - Florida Keys

5 Oct. 2010 -- Over the weekend, Blue Climate Solutions acquired first hand impressions of the Florida Keys’ carbon storing and productive blue carbon ecosystems. Skin diving in the seagrass meadows of Upper Matecumbe Key provided fantastic views of loggerhead sponges encrusted with juvenile lobsters, spotted eagle rays and cowfish. A kayak eco-tour from Florida Bay Outfitters (highly recommended) showed us lobsters, large snapper, snook and many juvenile fish in the creeks of Key Largo’s mangrove forests.

When healthy, coastal and marine ecosystems such as seagrass meadows and mangrove forests absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigate the threat of climate change.

Healthy seagrass and mangrove ecosystems are also vital for local tourism and many commercial and recreational fisheries.

Spotted eagle ray ‘spotted’ off Upper Matecumbe Key.

Honeycomb cowfish in the shallow seagrass meadows.

Kayak eco-touring in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Spiny lobster skirts a mangrove creek.

Baitfish hide in the seagrass.

- Steven Lutz, Blue Climate Solutions