While the federal government struggles to develop a national climate strategy, state and regional frameworks are pushing even harder to limit greenhouse gas emissions.


Earlier this week, California held its second auction for carbon-emissions allowances under its new cap and trade regulations.  On February 7, the east coast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proposed a 45 percent reduction in the 2014 emissions cap with additional 2.5 percent reductions each year between 2015 and 2020 (Read more).  The RGGI includes nine states. 


Against this backdrop of aggressive regional cap and trade strategies, Manomet’s Clear Water Carbon Fund (CWCF) is set to announce an expansion of its operations this spring. The CWCF is a voluntary donor-driven project that allows people and businesses to purchase trees for planting in their local watersheds. The newly reforested stream and riverbanks reduce carbon in the atmosphere while also protecting water quality and providing wildlife habitat.


Each tree removes more than 570 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere.


Working with the Androscoggin River Watershed Council, the Fund will plant another acre of trees this spring in Maine’s Androscoggin River watershed. Central Maine Power, a regional utility, will pay for that planting.


The Androscoggin River was once so dirty that it inspired the federal Clean Water Act, but it has rebounded in recent years. The Androscoggin tributary targeted for CWCF replanting this spring is particularly in need of shade to keep the water cool.


The Fund will also move – for the first time – into Vermont’s Upper Clyde River watershed. In that project, Manomet will be working with the NorthWoods Stewardship Center.


Previously, the CWCF has planted trees in the Sebago Lake and Androscoggin watersheds in Maine and the White River watershed in Vermont.


Anyone interested in purchasing a tree or learning more about the project can visit www.clearwatercarbonfund.org or call (207) 721-9040


– Dave McGlinchey