Tools for evaluating carbon storage

Wetland Prioritization Study Main Page


Single-objective tools


Multi-objective tools


Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Coastal Master Plan (LACPRA CMP) Soil Organic Carbon Storage Tool: The Wetland Morphology model estimated soil organic carbon storage for the upper meter of soils for potential restoration projects. Areas with high soil bulk density, high organic matter content, and high percent land were ranked highest for carbon sequestration potential by the model.1

Factor used in analysis

Data source

Soil bulk density

Wetland morphology model

Organic matter

Percent land



The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Law Institute Duck-Pensaukee Watershed Approach Pilot Project (TNC-ELI DPWAP) Carbon Storage Tool:2 This tool scored individual Potentially Restorable Wetlands (PRWs) and preservation wetlands in terms of their ability to provide carbon storage services based on four "effectiveness" criteria. Effectiveness criteria for carbon storage (shown in the table below) represent the capability of wetlands to provide carbon storage benefits given the specific characteristics of each individual site (e.g., wetlands containing deep peat or muck layers are more effective at storing carbon).


Using GIS analysis, a planning team counted the number of effectiveness criteria satisfied at each wetland site, with PRWs and existing wetlands analyzed separately. These counts were divided by the total number of effectiveness criteria that could possibly have been satisfied (four) to obtain final scores for each PRW or existing wetland. Assessing PRWs and existing wetlands separately, the team designated the highest-scoring quarter of the sites sites to be "exceptional" priorities and the next quarter of sites to be "high" priorities. Sites scoring in the lowest half were considered "low" priorities for PRWs (i.e., restoration) and were not considered priorities at all for existing wetlands (i.e., preservation).


  Factor used in analysis

Data source(s)

Wetland reestablishment opportunities (PRWs)

See above

Wetland preservation opportunities

See above

Effectiveness criteria

Site contains deep peat or muck layers

SSURGO database soil map unit description

Dominated by high biomass vegetation (forest, scrub shrub)

NWI codes

Substrates are saturated throughout the growing season

NWI codes

Site has potential to serve as a carbon sink (water flow path = isolated or inflow)

NWI+, Historic Wetland LLWW, PRW

 Acronym definitions


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1Holm G, Perez B, Stagg C, Wamsley T, and Snedden G. 2012. Wetland morphology model technical report. Appendix D-2. Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana. Baton Rouge, LA.
2Miller, N., T. Bernthal, J. Wagner, M. Grimm, G. Casper, and J. Kline. 2012. The Duck-Pensaukee Watershed Approach: Mapping Wetland Services, Meeting Watershed Needs. The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Law Institute, Madison, Wisconsin.