Healthy watersheds start with Healthy Forests, Farms, and Urban Greenspaces. These landscapes provide some of the most valuable ecosystem services available.

Rappahannock Carbon is a new program offered by partners of the Rappahannock River Roundtable and First Earth 2030 to help landowners in the Rappahannock River Region protect and enhance their forests, working landscapes, and urban tree canopy through carbon market resources and a variety of other conservation program opportunities.

There are any number of ways to generate carbon offset credits, and for the first time landowners with as few as 15 ACRES can generate such credits by agreeing to certain conservation practices on their properties like delaying timber harvest or planting new trees. These opportunities include programs in improved forest management, forest protection and preservation, urban tree planting, riparian buffers, improved pasture management*. And more! 

As we continue to see increased pressure from development, the risks to water quality, prime agricultural land, forests, wetlands, and wildlife habitat are greater than ever.  In order to manage this develop pressure, it imperative to maximize access and availability of technical and financial resources for conservation solutions for landowners and communities to protect their natural resources.



Rappahannock Carbon maximizes opportunities through the development of conservation solutions for landowners in rural and urban areas throughout the Rappahannock River Watershed. 

Aggregated Improved Forest Management for Rural Landowners
Forest Land Preservation for Rural Landowners
Forest Land Preservation for Urban and Suburban Landowners and Communities
Urban Tree Canopy Establishment for Urban and Suburban Landowners and Communities

Landowners interested in learning whether they would be a good candidate should complete the following form.
A representative from Friends of the Rappahannock will review your submissions and follow up with additional information. 

This project is made possible thanks to an Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundations (NFWF) Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. 

What is a carbon credit?

Carbon credits represent avoided emissions of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into atmosphere. For most landowners this involves either planting trees or protecting mature trees. Additional carbon sequestration is verified by a third party which quantifies the carbon capture based on tons. One ton of carbon sequestration= one carbon credit. For landowners, income is generated through the sale of credits.

Who buys carbon credits?

Carbon credits are purchased by a wide array of off-takers. This can include energy providers, technology companies, the transportation sector, or even firms functioning as middlemen to buy and resell credits. Credit purchases allow buyers to finance an investment in their own sustainability and reduce their reported carbon footprint.

How can landowners get involved?

While there are a wide variety of carbon crediting programs in development, landowners are best advised to engage a project developer who is affiliated with a reputable carbon credit registry. This will give landowners the best chance at higher per-acre yield. The Friends of the Rappahannock and First Earth 2030 are ready and affiliated with top-tier registries that can generate high value credits.

How many acres do I need to qualify?

Landowners in more urban and suburban areas can qualify for certain markets with as few as 15 acres while those living in rural areas generally need a minimum of 50 acres of mature trees to qualify or be willing to convert a similar acreage to timber. 

How do I get paid?

The landowner is paid once credits are generated and sold. Credits are initially generated when the landowner first agrees to restrictions and the number of credits are verified. Additional credits can be generated as trees grow and sequester more carbon.