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Marin-Based Turtle Island to Plant 10,000 Redwoods Creating Local ‘Carbon Sink’ to Fight Climate Change

For Immediate Release
Photos available here.

CONTACT:
Joanna Nasar
Director of Communications
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Cell: (415) 488-7711
Joanna@seaturtles.org

Todd Steiner
Executive Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Office: (415) 663-8590 ext. 103
Cell: (415) 488-7652
Tsteiner@tirn.net

Olema, Calif. (Dec. 2, 2015) – World leaders are convening in Paris for the United Nations conference on climate change (COP21) with the goal of enacting policies on a country-level to reduce greenhouse warming gases like carbon dioxide. At the same time in Marin County, Turtle Island Restoration Network and our Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) program’s 10,000 Redwoods Project is responding to the climate crisis with an innovative plan to reforest local creeks with iconic redwood trees to create a ‘sink’ for carbon dioxide. These trees will remove this greenhouse gas from the atmosphere to help stabilize our changing climate.

“We don’t have to be in Paris to know that climate change requires all hands on deck. Right now, we have the opportunity locally to fight climate change while also restoring our beautiful redwood forests and enhancing endangered salmon habitat,” explained Todd Steiner, a biologist and the executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.Org). “It just makes sense.”

Historically, native redwood trees were abundant in this region; because of commercial logging in the 20th century however, now they only exist in small pockets. The 10,000 Redwoods Project would re-create a healthy, connected, and lasting redwood forest through the region. Specifically, the Phase One goal is to grow at least 10,000 redwood trees and other riparian species to reforest the Lagunitas Creek Watershed, one of California’s most important waterways for the endangered, wild coho salmon, while creating a carbon sink.

In addition, SPAWN will help plant redwoods throughout Marin County in appropriate areas, and will not limit to creek buffer areas. Schools, businesses and individuals are all encouraged to get involved. Marin Community College Professor Fernando Agudelo-Silva has already enlisted his students to help grow and plant redwoods.

These tall trees not only support climate goals, they also help support local endangered coho salmon’s life cycle. Giant trees provide juvenile salmon with critical shelter, serve as a habitat for their food sources, and are also critical to their survival in our Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Trees, especially native coastal redwoods, provide numerous benefits for salmon and other wildlife including endangered northern spotted owls. The trees shade streams, hold banks in place and create deep, slow moving pools that are vital to protect fish during heavy storms. Creekside forests also provide water quality improvements equal to those provided by water treatment plants that cost millions of dollars to build and operate.

Over the next three years, Turtle Island will need the help of hundreds of local volunteers to collect native tree seeds and cuttings, grow them in Turtle Island’s community-based native plant nursery, and plant them alongside creeks.

“With the 10,000 Redwoods Project anyone that wants to volunteer can be part of the solution to climate change,” said Preston Brown, a biologist with Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We hope everyone in Marin will plant a tree with us!”

Get Involved with the 10,000 Redwoods Project:
Bay Area residents can help raise a redwood by:

1.) making a tax deductible gift online at http://10000redwoods.org/adopt-a-redwood/ , in your name or a loved ones; and by

2.) joining Turtle Island as a volunteer! Volunteers work in our native plant nursery to help grow and care for redwoods. No experience is necessary, just a desire to learn about caring for redwood trees. To volunteer with this project, please email Biologist Preston Brown at Preston@spawnusa.org.

Redwood tree and volunteer photos available for media use here.

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Turtle Island Restoration Network is an international marine conservation organization headquartered in California whose 200,000+ members and online activists work to protect sea turtles and marine biodiversity in the United States and around the world. For 25 years, Turtle Island Restoration Network has mobilized people to preserve oceans, restore rivers and streams, and protect the marine wildlife – from sea turtles to sharks – that call these blue-green waters home.  SeaTurtles.org