Working with local and state jurisdictions, Earth Economics applies innovative approaches to fund critical natural infrastructure and conservation work.
Just as all citizens benefit from public services such as transportation infrastructure, police, fire protection and public education, all citizens benefit from healthy ecosystems. Healthy watersheds provide salmon, flood and storm protection, clean drinking water, recreation, and other benefits that are often unrecognized. A healthy marshland often provides stormsurge protection, carbon sequestration, food, recreation, and serves as a nursery for juvenile fish. By their physical nature, these public goods and services cannot easily be privatized. Thus, ecosystem restoration is largely a public investment, though private land stewardship is an important complement.
Implementation of restoration plans and projects requires substantial funding, and the lack of dedicated funding mechanisms slows progress. Earth Economics identifies the services provided by specific ecosystems and the recipients of benefits, allowing for greater equity and fairness in paying for goods and services through investment in natural capital assets. The natural capital investments can benefit residents, local and national businesses at the heart of a local economy. In addition, restoration efforts often produce significant benefit for communities beyond the immediate region.
The primary goal of our service is to develop multiple funding mechanisms to provide revenue over time to fund restoration projects. The following steps are undertaken to identify and evaluate funding mechanisms:
Featured Case Study: Rationalizing Tax Districts
- Survey the literature on existing and proposed funding mechanisms relevant to your case study.
- Identify and describe 3-5 potential funding mechanisms sufficient to fund implementation.
- Provide an overview of the economic benefits that residents, local governments, and private firms would receive from a dedicated funding source.
- Conduct a workshop with you, the client, on these proposed funding mechanisms to identify one or two mechanisms for in-depth analysis.
- Examine the identified funding mechanisms in-depth for economic viability, sufficiency, legal requirements, collection efficiency, and other criteria.
- Generate a final report.
Earth Economics is assisting the Green/Duwamish Watershed to develop innovative, dependable funding mechanisms for salmon habitat restoration.