“Blue carbon,” the carbon taken up and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems, represents a vast, previously unrecognized natural carbon sink. Coastal blue carbon habitats, including salt marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, sequester carbon at rates 10 times higher than forested ecosystems and store carbon in their soil that is often hundreds or thousands of years old. As such, in addition to giving other important climate adaptation benefits to coastal communities like storm protection, nursery habitats for fish, and water purification, this coastal blue carbon reserve is a crucial part of natural climate mitigation.

On May 21, a panel of leading experts will discuss the importance of blue carbon and the ramifications of its release.

The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute, and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are planetary in scale. The seminar addresses planetary-scale problems and solutions.


  • Thomas Lovejoy

    Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation; University Professor, George Mason University; Brazil Institute and ECSP Advisory Board Member
  • Ariana Sutton-Grier

    Environmental Scientist, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Diane Hoskins

    Director of Government Relations, Restore America’s Estuaries
  • Jennifer Howard

    Marine Climate Change Manger, Conservation International
  • Paul Schopf

    Professor of Oceanography, Associate Dean for Research and Computing, George Mason University