Like mangrove forests, peat bogs keep immense amounts of carbon-rich materials underwater, where they don’t decay and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Bogs also mitigate flooding (by soaking up water) and help maintain water quality (by filtering out contaminants).
But Ireland has lost almost 80% of its peatlands, with serious environmental consequences. When bogs are drained or peat is dug up for fuel, peatlands go from being enormous carbon sinks to enormous carbon sources.
This project will save and restore 86-acre Lodge Bog in two ways. First, drainage will be blocked, keeping the water table high and preventing the release of greenhouse gases. Second, trained volunteers will replant peat moss. This will return the bog to an active state—that is, one that is forming more peat. Restoring the bog will protect breeding habitat for large wading birds called curlews. Their population has plummeted since the 1980s because of habitat loss.
Our nonprofit partner is the Irish Peatlands Conservation Council, which has worked to preserve peatlands since 1982. The IPCC will host school students at its Bog of Allen Nature Center, so they can learn about Ireland’s most threatened habitat and bird species.