The Science

The ScienceForests filter and purify rain and snow and naturally provide a source of clean and safe water for humans and wildlife.  Trees prevent soil erosion, filter sediment and harmful pollutants to keep water clean, shade streams to keep them cool, provide valuable habitat for fish and wildlife, and remove and store carbon from the atmosphere.  Planting trees next to streams achieves a dual purpose of improving water quality and fighting climate change.  As the trees grow they absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere.  It’s a win-win: you can reduce your carbon emissions to fight climate change and, at the same time, help protect clean water.

What are carbon emissions?

Our daily activities that burn fossil fuels (e.g., driving, flying, using electricity, heating our homes) add carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere.  These GHG emissions are the drivers of global climate change. There are two strategies to reduce the amount of GHG emissions we put into the atmosphere: 1) reduce our use of fossil fuels and 2) reduce our GHG emissions by participating in projects that store additional carbon.  Both strategies are essential in the effort to address the underlying causes of climate change.

Why plant trees?

As trees grow they absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere.  Planting trees can reduce the amount carbon in the atmosphere and can help reduce our emissions of carbon.  The Clear Water Carbon Fund plants trees within 150 feet of streams where no trees currently exist or in upland areas identified to be important to protecting clean water .  Planting trees next to streams not only sequesters carbon but provides significant benefits to clean water by preventing sediment and nutrients from entering the stream, shading the stream to keep it cool, and providing valuable habitat for fish and wildlife.  So you can simultaneously reduce your carbon emissions to fight climate change and help protect clean water.