Cattails Harvesting for Carbon Offsets and Nutrient Capture: A "Lake Friendly" greenhouse gas project

By Richard Grosshans, Philip Gass, Dimple Roy, Henry David Venema, Matthew McCandless, Rosemary Dohan, Henry David Venema on September 19, 2013

The Cattail Biomass Harvesting project is pursuing and evaluating the commercial-scale harvesting of cattail (Typha spp.) for its multiple co-benefits, in particular:

  1. Nutrient capture (i.e., phosphorus) through harvesting of nutrient-rich biomass to reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Winnipeg
  2. Use of harvested biomass as a viable feedstock for bioenergy to displace coal used for heating
  3. Certification of cattails through the voluntary market for generation of carbon offset credits
  4. Demonstration of commercial-scale agricultural equipment for harvesting in wet environments

This progress report details the project background, descriptions of current cattail biomass harvest sites, a proposed plan for commercial-scale cattail harvesting, and opportunities for carbon offset markets and certification. It concludes with a legislative and regulatory review for cattail harvesting in Manitoba. The Cattail Biomass Harvesting project, a component of the International Institute for Sustainable Development's ongoing Netley-Libau Nutrient-Bioenergy Project, is co-funded by Manitoba Lotteries, Manitoba Conservation Department of Water Stewardship and Manitoba Hydro.

Report details

Water Innovation Centre
Focus area
IISD, 2013