Modeling the Economic Value of Blue Carbon in Delaware Estuary Wetlands: Historic Estimates and Future Projections. Academic Article uri icon


  • Coastal wetlands sequester large amounts of carbon in their soils, effectively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and acting as a carbon sink. In this paper, we estimate the economic value of carbon sequestered by wetlands in the Delaware Estuary. We estimate the value of the current stock of wetlands, the value of the historic loss of wetlands, and under a range of different scenarios the expected future loss. We use historical topographic maps and Land Cover inventories of the Delaware Estuary to measure the acreage of tidal wetlands in nine distinct time periods from 1778 to 2011. Using these data, we estimate an annual rate of wetland loss of 1.03┬ákm2. Coupling observed land cover change with exogenous factors including sea-level rise, population pressure, and channel dredging, we estimate changes in tidal wetland area under a range of future scenarios for our expected future economic loss estimates.

publication date

  • January 15, 2018