Mangroves–Climate Change-Fighting Superpowers, Building Calstock’s Climate Change Resilience, The American Conversation Series Discussion Streams Tonight, A New Trash Trap for DC’s Anacostia River

by | May 23, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Mangroves: climate change-fighting superpowers, plus building Calstock, Britain’s climate change resilience. The American Conversation Series discussion streams tonight, and a new trash trap for DC’s Anacostia River.



We’ve reported on the great value mangroves have for the world at least twice here on The Climate Daily. One story spotlighted efforts in the Philippines to restore its mangrove forests. Another story profiled Liza Goldberg, the “Mangrove Protector.”

Now comes word that folks in Mexico are looking to restore some of their precious wetlands by planting mangroves. In other parts of Mexico, volunteer groups are gathering to protect mangrove forests from destruction from other forms of human activity.

Why does this matter to us? Mangroves store more carbon per unit than any other ecosystem on earth. That figure is up to five times more CO2 sequestered even than tropical rainforests. How do they do it? By moving carbon from the atmosphere into their extensive root systems and ultimately into the soil. There it’s stored for hundreds of years.

Often called the “trees of the sea” because mangrove forests thrive in salty waters, where their root systems form a barrier against erosion and provide a haven for wildlife. That’s because Mangroves actually hold coastlines in place. They help to protect from coastal erosion and provide protection from storms. And there’s another reason. Their root systems act as nurseries for the whales. In fact, near to La Paz lies Puerto Chale, where mangrove root systems provide protection for birthing whales. They deliver their calves and nuture them for months at a time in and amongst the mangroves. 

Mangroves, trees of the sea. 

DEEPER DIVE:, NBC, Mongabay, Stanford, NASA



You kind of buried the lead, didn’t you? I thought surely the first story would be about your appearance tonight on the panel discussion, “America’s Climate Change Policy: Who pays, us or our children?” hosted by the Stubblefield Institute at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WVA.

Then I’m going to toot it for you. Jeffrey’s appearing tonight on the panel I just mentioned. Scheduled to appear alongside him are Sean Kevelighan, director of the Insurance Information Institute, and Dr. Danny Richter, Vice President of the Citizens Climate Lobby. The discussion is scheduled to be moderated by Sarah Isgur. The event may be aired live on C-SPAN, or at least livestreamed on the Stubblefield Institute’s Facebook page.

DEEPER DIVE: Stubblefield Institute, Citizens Climate Lobby, Insurance Information Institute



The U.K. Government Environment Agency recently created a new intertidal habitat along the river Tamar in Cornwall to boost resilience against climate change. 

The intertidal habitat is about 29 acres and is part of a new flood defense project to manage the risk of flooding to properties and critical infrastructure in Calstock. Calstock is a small village in the south east of Cornwall, a county on the southwest tip of the British Isle. The overall cost of the project is about $4M.

The new intertidal habitats are part of a new flood defense plan to combat erosion and sea level rise. The Environment Agency has built roughly 600 yards of new embankment along the river. The new habitat area will help off-set some of the impacts of sea level rise and climate change and clean river water by trapping sediment.  An increase in biodiversity has already been seen, with birds and other wildlife attracted to the new intertidal habitat.

Climate change and rising sea levels in the Tamar are leading to a coastal squeeze where essential habitat is being prevented from adapting and moving towards land by a structure such as a wall or bank. Said Jess Thomasson, Biodiversity Officer for the Environment Agency, of the project: “We started to create a series of interconnected creeks. The breach in the redundant flood bank, allowing tidal water from the estuary to flow in and out of the creeks has enabled this new vital intertidal habitat to establish in front of the new flood banks.”

Why does what happens in Cornwall matter to us? Intertidal regions exist on coastlines all over the world. The lessons learned from the Calstock project can form a template that those communities can use to adapt to climate change, too. BTW, not only does the project provide resilience against climate change, but it also provides a richer environment for eco-visitors.  

DEEPER DIVE: Calstock, Gov.UK, Intertidal Zone



Back on Earth Day, 2022, The Climate Daily introduced you to Climate Change champion, Dennis Chestnut. He’s a Washington, DC native who’s lived his whole life in the District, along the Anacostia River. 

Back in 2009, as founding executive director of Groundworks Anacostia River DC, he helped install a Bandalong trash trap in the Anacostia River. Now Montgomery County, MD—a suburb of DC—has joined our nation’s capital in fighting river-clogging, polluting trash. 

Last month, the county installed a trash trap in the Lockbridge Drive Tributary, which empties into the Anacostia’s Northwest Branch. Using the stream current, it will guide debris into the trap and prevent it from flowing downstream to the Anacostia River and into the Chesapeake Bay.

During the trap’s unveiling, County Executive Marc Elrich said, “Plastic bottles make up 60 percent of all the trash that is found floating on the Anacostia River, and while the best way to reduce trash in our waterways is not to litter at all, this litter trap is another way to make sure that we are not leaving environmentally harmful trash behind,” 

Anacostia Riverkeeper is working with the Montgomery County Conservation Corps for maintenance, monitoring and data collection as the litter is collected and sorted. Anacostia Riverkeeper works to protect and restore the Anacostia River for all who live, work, and play in the watershed. This program will provide jobs, create awareness, and build community support for protecting our environment.

Why does this matter to us? Most waterborne trash comes from runoff from parking lots, streets, stormwater drains. That trash ruins river ecosystems, contributing to climate change. This river trap is yet one more example of finding innovative ways to clean up our streams and creeks. 

DEEPER DIVE: Montgomery County Presser, Anacostia Riverkeeper,