Building Healthy Soils to Help Conserve the Ocean


 
This blog post was written by Daniel Perea, summer intern, and Jazmine Mejia-Muñoz, Water Quality Program Coordinator

Boots on the ground, a blanket of compost, and mycorrhizal fungi ready to deliver nutrients to an organic farm. This is one of the innovative ways in which the California

Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF) helps conserve the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

© Pam Krone, CMSF Water Quality Program Manager

In 2019, CMSF and collaborative partners led a healthy soils project at JSM Organics – a 200-acre organic farm that grows over 30 varieties of vegetables, berries, flowers and herbs in Monterey County. In this demonstration project funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, we worked closely with Javier Zamora, owner/grower, to demonstrate two healthy soil practices – compost addition and mycorrhizal fungi application.

© Pam Krone, CMSF Water Quality Program Manager

These practices along with other healthy soil practices that Mr. Zamora implemented helped sequester about 718 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the three-year period. That is equivalent to about 52 cars each year.


An increase of carbon sequestration within the soils means less agricultural runoff and less overall carbon entering the sanctuary, which would otherwise increase the acidity of the ocean water and impact marine wildlife.


Watch our recent webinar, Increases in Soil Health at JSM Organics: Implementing Multiple Practices for a deeper dive on the results of this healthy soils project and the impact this has on both land and marine conservation.




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