Planning—Protecting Wetlands

Summary: Plants living in the ocean have a tremendous role to play in carbon storage, and salt marshes are particularly good at storing carbon because the plants decompose so slowly. This topic guide focuses on the role marine wetlands play in carbon sequestration. Students visit a local wetland to better understand what ecological services it may provide, and then share the information with others who can help prioritize wetlands protection and restoration efforts.

Concepts to teach:


  1. Through photosynthesis, plants take in and store carbon dioxide from the air
  2. Salt marshes store a lot of carbon because the organic material is slow to decompose
  3. Wetlands provide a variety of ecosystem services, including sequestering carbon

Standards: NGSS Performance Expectations

  • 5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

Specific Objectives
Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the role marine wetlands play in storing carbon
  2. Describe the many other ecological services provided by wetlands

Activity Links and Resources:


  • Students create and share with others presentations that describe the role a local wetland has in sequestering excess carbon from the atmosphere. Examples of presentations may include a poster, a theatrical interpretation of the carbon cycle, a slide presentation, video, PSA, etc.