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Carbon Credits Create Economic Incentives for Restoring Coastline
While hurricanes and other factors are wearing away Louisiana's fragile coastal wetlands, Entergy and Ecosystem Investment Partners are helping rebuild them.
A $200,000 contribution from Entergy's Environmental Initiatives Fund leverages carbon science to stem the effects of decades of severe shoreline retreat and tidal fluctuations on the Chef Menteur Pass. The Pass has been identified by Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan as a priority for marsh restoration.
While other investors are paying for the actual restoration of the wetland area, Entergy's grant is helping determine whether--and how many--carbon dioxide offsets can be earned by protecting wetlands from deteriorating in the first place. If so, credits could be earned in two ways: credits for the actual restoration work and credits for the preservation of existing area wetlands. The preservation credits would generate additional revenue, leading to the protection of even more wetlands.
The initiative supports Entergy's mission to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders because the area along the East Orleans Land Bridge plays a crucial role in storm protection for New Orleans. Louisiana coastline restoration such as that at Chef Menteur Pass helps protect industries, businesses, homes, and livelihoods, including Entergy's own facilities and assets, which reduces financial risk.
Entergy's actions support the State of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority master plan and leverage earlier similar work in the Mississippi River delta wetlands.
Ecosystem Investment Partners is developing a wetlands bank for the Chef Menteur project. "These actions earn wetlands restoration credits, which companies like Entergy can purchase to offset impacts of their operations on wetlands," said Adam Davis, director of research, policy and new markets for EIP. "These purchases then generate funds needed to further restore and maintain wetlands."
"This year we are recognizing the tenth anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Chuck Barlow, Entergy's vice president of environmental strategy & policy. "Through our support of EIP and other actions, we are helping reverse the impact of storms like these and other damaging factors on our region's wetlands. That's a powerful movement in the right direction for Louisiana."