SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
 
  20 December 2012
Volume 13 Issue 12
 

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Carbon Sequestration and Shoreline Revegetation of Lake Waco, Waco, Texas, USA

Baylor University Student Chapter of SETAC

In 2012, SETAC North America explored innovative ways to engage members in offsetting the carbon footprint of their annual meeting. In response to a request for proposals, two awards were made including a carbon sequestration and shoreline revegetation project at Lake Waco in Texas. Lake Waco, a man-made reservoir, was created largely to address the “feast or famine” nature of water availability in central Texas. In 2003, the water level was raised 7 ft and much of the original vegetation that covered the banks was eradicated. Presently much of the shoreline (≥ 95%) is lacking vegetation. The aim of this project is to implement a self-sustaining carbon sink via the seeding of communities of native aquatic vegetation along the reservoir shoreline. Preventing the spread of undesirable invasive species is an additional benefit of this project.

The Baylor University Student Chapter of SETAC will be responsible for supplying the work force to grow and seed the native communities of aquatic vegetation. The volunteers for this effort will come from graduate and undergraduate students within Baylor University. Funding from SETAC North America will be used to construct mesocosms to grow plants, purchase supplies for the planting and build exclosures to protect young plants from wave action and herbivory. Hundreds of native aquatic plants, representing eight different taxa, will be locally grown in Baylor University mesocosms located at the City of Waco, Lake Waco Wetlands facility. These plants will be transplanted along a stretch of shoreline within constructed protective shoreline enclosures. The site will be evaluated after six months and one year to document the success of our remediation efforts.

This project will be performed in collaboration with the City of Waco, Lake Waco Wetlands, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

If you would like to support this project, please visit the SETAC website to donate online.

Authors’ contact information: Kristin_Connors@baylor.edu

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