(Houston) Today the Texas Coastal Exchange (TCX) announces completion of its first carbon dioxide storage transaction in the Galveston Bay marsh ecosystem – the first known sale of carbon credits benefiting Texas marshes and prairies.
The Texas Coastal Exchange concept evolved from research by Rice University’s SSPEED Center, which was interested in establishing a system to pay landowners for keeping low-lying coastal lands subject to hurricane surge flooding in their natural state. TCX, a non-profit corporation, was created to facilitate the sale of carbon credits to interested individuals and businesses in the state.
Houston-based Kirksey Architecture partnered with TCX and the Galveston Bay Foundation to store 770 tons of the greenhouse gas on foundation-owned land along the bay. Kirksey estimates it generated that much carbon dioxide in 2018, after taking steps to avoid or minimize its total carbon footprint. “Kirksey Architects has long tried to do the right thing from an environmental and ethical standpoint,” said John Kirksey, the firm’s founder. “We have long been a leader in LEED and green design, and we want to help build a market for local carbon sequestration.”
“The concepts behind TCX are based on a sound scientific understanding of the carbon sequestration capacity of coastal ecosystems,” said Dr. Azure Bevington, chief scientist for TCX. “The premise of generating cash flow for landowners to assist them in both maintaining and expanding the ecological services that their lands provide to the region is built around the emerging awareness of a need to offset the hidden costs associated with carbon dioxide emissions.”
“As the number of buyers increases, we hope to expand our landowners to include not only non-governmental organizations such as Galveston and Matagorda Bay Foundations but also to include private landowners whose lands surround Sabine Lake, Galveston Bay, and Matagorda Bay,” explained Jim Blackburn, a founder of TCX. The system launched by the Texas Coastal Exchange is expected to facilitate the storage of over one billion tons of carbon dioxide in marsh and prairie lands throughout the United States over the next 10 years.