Bays, Birds, Cadiz and Carbon capture

A thoughtful reader has written to point out that our ancient enthusiasm for a Severn Barrage (LSS 6 Dec 2021) could have resulted in the destruction of thousands of wading birds. True-but a charge to which we are tempted to plead “not guilty, guv”. For our precious barrage dream was a long time ago, and modern methods of tidal power referenced in yesterday’s little blog are a lot more nature-friendly.

But it raises a very serious question. If you are going to start putting in any scheme of climate amelioration, what cost are you prepared to pay in existing wildlife? You can never have your cake and eat it, whatever certain politicians will tell you. Or can you?

Because news reaches us via Jesus A Caña of El País [1] of an exciting scheme in the Bay of Cádiz (That’s CAH-diz, anglophones)  to convert the vast salt marshes there into a carbon capture scheme. Europe’s first serious one in fact. The marshes have been producing salt, mainly for food preservation, for over 2,500 years, but the invention of the refrigerator has sent them into decline. Channels are silting up, and no one is left to fight pollution. Now a new scheme from UCIN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature, in English) will restore and reforest the marshes, paying for it all buy selling bonds to high carbon entrepreneurs.

“Egrets, we’ve had a few”, as Frank Sinatra memorably observed. But the bay is home to dozens of other species including ospreys, waterfowl and, rather amazingly, flamingos. Who knows, the new scheme could multiply habitats for these iconic birds(and the species that support their lives) and still deliver a real punch in the fight to bring down CO2 levels. Cake indeed.

Jesus’ article will tell you a lot more, with some great pictures. But it’s in Spanish, so some of you might like to use a translator app

#carbon capture #wildlife #conservation #sustainability #nature #salt marsh

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