Proof of concept for tidal re-connection as a blue carbon offset project.

Sabine Dittmann, Luke Mosley, Michelle Clanahan, Jason Quinn, Steve Crooks, Igino Emmer, Sophie Min Thomson, Russell Seaman

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Re-introduction of tidal flow has been recommended as a prime activity to achieve blue carbon benefits and obtain carbon offset credits under Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) (Kelleway et al. 2017). Tidal re-connection of ponded wetlands has been shown to increase carbon sequestration and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as demonstrated for ponded freshwater wetlands (Krauss et al. 2017; Kroeger et al. 2017), or managed realignment of saltmarsh (Burden et al. 2013; Wollenberg et al. 2018). Carbon sequestration from re-connected salt ponds has been less studied, and mostly in regions without mangrove and where saltmarsh is dominated by marsh grass (Spartinaspp.). With salt field restoration opportunities arising in South Australia, this report provides an overview on the feasibility of this activity as a carbon offset project, based on a tidal re-connection trial and further associated studies.Despite the benefits to mitigate global warming from tidal re-connection or other blue carbon project activities, Australia has, at present,no method under the ERF for blue carbon projects. Carbon credits from the voluntary carbon market under international standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) cannot be used in Australia due to potential issues with double counting of carbon abatement. In the absence of a methodology for the ERF, the project From salt to C; carbon sequestration through ecological restoration at the Dry Creek salt field(Salt to C) by the Goyder Institute for Water Research followed general principles of the VCS method VM0033 for tidal wetland and seagrass restoration (Emmer et al. 2015). This proof of concept accompanies the Salt to C project technical report (Dittmann et al. 2019) and can support the further design of a blue carbon project.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherGoyder Institute for Water Research
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Publication series

NameTechnical Report Series
PublisherGoyder Institute for Water Research
ISSN (Print)1839-2725


  • blue carbon
  • tidal flow
  • Carbon sequestration
  • saltmarsh
  • ponded wetlands
  • carbon offset credits


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