South Slough, Coos Bay

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South Slough is a National Estuarine Research Reserve located on the Coos Bay estuary, on the central coast of Oregon. The 4,770 acre (1930 ha) reserve was established in 1974 and has a visitor center and headquarters in Charleston.

Coos Bay is the inlet formed where the Coos River enters the Pacific Ocean. The bay is about 10 miles (16 km) long and two miles (3 km) wide. The city of Coos Bay is located on the inland shore. The Port of Coos Bay is the largest and deepest port between San Francisco and the Columbia River. Coos Bay also has extensive wetlands and tidal flats such as those in South Slough.

Blue Carbon is a term for coastal wetlands that remove atmospheric carbon and store it in ocean sediments. Tidal marshes, tidal forested wetlands, and seagrasses sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere continuously over thousands of years, building stocks of carbon in organic-rich soils. Salt marshes and seagrass beds, as well as mangroves, make up the majority of the ocean’s vegetated habitats, and even though these cover less than 0.5% of the ocean, they may account for up to 70% of all carbon storage in ocean sediments. Read more about South Slough here and about Blue Carbon here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the saltmarshes of South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.