Over the next few days, more than 100 acres of land along the Mississippi River outside Greenville and Cleveland will be transformed in the fight against climate change. This week, personnel from the Carbon Fund, Entergy, and Mississippi State University's Forest and Wildlife Research Center will plant over 33,000 hardwood trees in a partnership to use carbon sequestration to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound found in the earth's atmosphere that acts as a greenhouse gas. A certain amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is good because it "shields" the earth, holding in heat from the sun's rays. However, if there's too much CO2 in the atmosphere, heat cannot be released. Most scientists agree excessive levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing a gradual rise in the earth's temperatures – climate change. Carbon sequestration helps mitigate this effect by "storing” the CO2 instead of allowing it to remain in the atmosphere. Hardwood trees help fight climate change because they remove CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and store it.
The project is also part of a broad-based effort to study the most cost-efficient method for planting bottom-land hardwood trees in the Mississippi Delta. More and more Delta farmers are converting marginal cropland into timberland. Students from Mississippi State University's Department of Forestry will conduct long-term research on two forty-acre plots to determine the most cost-efficient planting method and to study how planting methods can affect the ultimate economic recovery of the initial investment. As the trees mature, students in MSU's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will study which types of wildlife make their home in this new habitat.
Field biologists and foresters from the Carbon Fund and Entergy will plant the trees in three separate plots on property owned by Entergy Mississippi's Gerald Andrus and Delta steam electric generating stations.
The Carbon Fund finances and promotes the protection, restoration and enhancement of forests all over the world through carbon sequestration, an important tool in preventing global climate change. The Carbon Fund promotes the creation of carbon assets through the restoration of native habitats throughout the world in a manner that encourages the protection, restoration and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plant resources. It encourages the participation of all farmers and landowners whose lands are now being used for agricultural and silvicultural purposes, especially those that were recently farmed and are now fallow.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.
The Forest and Wildlife Research Center at Mississippi State University was established by the Mississippi Legislature with the passage of the Renewable Natural Resources Research Act of 1994. The center conducts research and provides technical assistance programs relevant to the efficient management and use of the forest, wildlife and fisheries of the state and region, as well as the protection and enhancement of the natural environment associated with these resources.
Additional questions may be answered by contacting Rick Maiers at (662) 325-7481 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org