As we regularly report on the City Green blog, Environmental Services uses green infrastructure to help manage stormwater runoff and protect watershed health. We also talk a lot about the additional benefits provided through green infrastructure, including improved air quality, wildlife habitat, urban heat island mitigation, and energy conservation. Another additional benefit that we're learning more about is how the plants and soil in green infrastructure can sequester carbon and help to meet our carbon reduction goals and climate adaptation strategies.
The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative is building a network of regional practitioners and learn more about this relationship. Launched by Climate Solutions in 2011, this effort seeks to "demonstrate the essential role that natural systems can play in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to ensure long-term climate stability". They've engaged a long list of Innovation Partners, including City Green partners Ecotrust, Friends of Trees, and the Intertwine to name a few.
image courtesy of Climate Solutions
Environmental Services staff attended the Northwest Biocarbon Summit on June 10th at the University of Washington campus. Keynote Speaker David R. Montgomery, author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, discussed the significance of the role soil plays in our climate challenges and how it might even be a secret weapon to solve them. The event program featured a diverse panel of experts, practitioners and thinkers across multiple disciplines, and Portland was well-represented. Tony deFalco of Verde shared the story of Let Us Build Cully Park during the Economics of Biocarbon breakout session. Also, Environmental Services' Linda Dobson, Manager of the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division, presented a 'speed talk' on the city's green infrastructure programs. Climate Solutions has posted online all of the event presentation slides and videos, and each is chock full of great information.
Rhys Roth of Climate Solutions provided an excellent introduction to kick off the Northwest Biocarbon Summit.
Environmental Services will continue to work as an Innovation Partner with the Northwest Biocarbon Initiative to continue the discussion. You can learn more and keep track of the work by following the Climate Solutions blog or by liking the Northwest Biocarbon Initiative facebook page.