This project will scientifically assess whether the restoration of the Dry Creek salt fields will be a pathway towards assisting carbon neutrality for the South Australian Government. The main outcome of this interdisciplinary research project will be a feasibility assessment of Blue Carbon and co-benefits derived from salt field restoration, with a market ready pathway to carbon accounting and registration that is relevant for achieving South Australia’s climate ready policy.
The investigations will generate knowledge and data on bio-sequestration and carbon abatement through revegetation of salt fields. As salt production has recently ceased at Dry Creek, the activity is new and emissions abatement through carbon sequestration and/or emission avoidance is additional, as revegetation would not be possible had the ponds remained as a salt field. The project outcomes are thus meeting the key Offset Integrity Standards and will be utilised as offset for South Australia’s carbon neutral policies with medium to long-term prospects. The project will produce practical guidelines for using the verified carbon standard VM0033, the Human Induced Regeneration accounting method for the Emissions Reduction Fund and, once available, the Australian Emission Reduction Fund methodology for Blue Carbon.
The outcomes will be based on field investigations and experiments from a tidal reconnection trial, and adjacent control areas, in combination with co-benefit analyses and geospatial up-scaling to the northern Adelaide region. This approach will deliver a science based proof of concept of the carbon sequestration potential and wider economic and ecosystem service benefits from large scale restoration of the Dry Creek salt field. These outcomes will inform decision making on restoration options, and grow the research expertise in South Australia to further advance science on climate action and healthy ecosystem.