DCOI is developing a pocosin wetland restoration project with the Duke University Wetland Center (DUWC) and external partners.
Pocosins are a unique form of wetland found across the southeastern coastal plain of the United States. They are characterized by thick peat soil and are covered in shrub or pine forests. Wet peat soil can sequester large amounts of carbon for thousands of years by limiting the exposure of organic matter to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, much of the pocosin wetland habitat in North Carolina has been drained and converted to agriculture land. Duke University has been granted access to a tract of former pocosin wetland that has been farmed for the past several decades. By rewetting and restoring this wetland, the formerly degraded peat soil should be able to store up to 10 to 15 times more carbon, according to Dr. Curtis Richardson, Director of DUWC. Along with increased carbon storage, the restored pocosin wetland will provide other important ecosystem services, such as flood control and improved groundwater storage.