Comcaac, Mangrove and Seagrass Ecological Restoration, & Blue Carbon – Enabled through the generous support from 11th Hour Racing, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation

Years: 2020, 2021

Location: Sonora, Mexico


https://www.borderlandsrestoration.eco

https://www.facebook.com/BorderlandsL3C

https://www.instagram.com/BorderlandsL3C

https://www.borderlandsrestoration.org

https://11thhourracing.org/grantees/


This project partners with the Comcaac Indigenous Community to establish a community-based seagrass and mangrove restoration project in the Gulf of California. Relying on indigenous knowledge this initiative strengthens community resilience and sustainable livelihood options.

The Comcaac have long inhabited the Infiernillo Canal is a shallow, naturally formed channel dividing the Mexican mainland from Isla Tiburon, located in the Gulf of California within the territory of the indigenous Comcaac (Seri) people. In 2009, the canal was declared a United Nations wetland of international importance RAMSAR site due to its biodiversity. The site covers approximately 75,000 acres with seagrass beds, mangrove estuaries, seasonal creeks, and small rocky reef patches. This location provides essential nursery habitats for economically and ecologically important fisheries species, estuarine and coastal habitats buffering local indigenous communities from the impacts of increasing storm events, and healthy mangrove and seagrass habitat known to be very efficient in carbon sequestration (referred to as blue carbon). However, the seagrass meadows and mangrove forests in this area are currently threatened by climate change, overfishing, and tourism development.

SCOPE

  • Restore and protect 5,000 acres of mangroves and 2,500 acres of seagrass resulting in an annual 45,000 tons of Carbon sequestration from the atmosphere per year.
  • Establish two nurseries to grow mangrove and seagrass managed by the local community.
  • Generate sustainable livelihoods with Comcaac tribal members and women leaders.
  • Facilitate educational workshops with Comcaac people regarding Blue Carbon from mangrove and seagrass restoration and carbon offset markets.

Expected Results:

Blue Carbon Sequestration by reforesting and protecting ~ 2,000 ha of Mangrove Forests, ~15 tons of carbon/ha/year = 30,000 tons/year; and ~ 1,000 ha of sea grass restoration, ~15 tons/ha/year = 15,000 tons/year. Project Total 45,000 tons of Blue Carbon/year

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About Borderlands Restoration Network

Borderland Restoration Network 501c3 (BRN) partners to grow a restorative economy by rebuilding healthy ecosystems, restoring habitat for plants and wildlife, and reconnecting our border communities through shared learning. We envision connected borderlands where rivers flow, plants, wildlife and cultures thrive, and communities develop an inclusive restorative economy where a sense of place inspires a sense of purpose. BRN researchers have extensive experience working with Indigenous communities on both sides of the US Mexico border, including the Comcaac Nation. Borderlands Restoration L3C (BR), a founding member of the Network will implement this blue carbon sequestration project with the Comcac Indigenous community. As a social- environmental enterprise, BR brings a unique set of skills and resources to create synergies between human economic activity and natural systems. BR brings expertise in working with local communities to increase carbon sequestration linked to payments for ecosystem services that generate a more prosperous and socially-just local economy while building regional ecological resilience to adjust for a rapidly changing climate.

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