The 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan proposes broad-scale, comprehensive action to address Louisiana's land loss crisis, including major sediment diversions of the Mississippi River. This analysis is the first of its kind to address the socioeconomic aspects of major sediment diversions in southeast Louisiana.
This study presents an economic assessment of the impacts and benefits of implementing a national marine sanctuary around St. George Island, Alaska. Both market and non-market impacts were assessed using the benefit transfer method and data on local markets. This study finds that implementing a national marine sanctuary around St. George Island may have substantial benefits, including: at least four full-time jobs, $200,000 in annual government spending to support a sanctuary office, $140,000 to $1 million in expenditures due to research grants, $55,000 to $240,000 in annual recreation expenditures, $22,000 to $44,000 in estimated subsistence harvest annually, and $2.8 billion to $3.3 billion in annual non-market ecosystem service benefits.
El Paso’s abundant natural capital is a critical part of the regional ecosystem and the economy. The shrublands surrounding the Franklin Mountains support rich biodiversity, capture water for the Hueco Bolson aquifer, and provide many other benefits directly to local residents, including increased property values and improved health via recreation. This first-ever ecosystem services valuation of El Paso’s natural capital finds that El Paso’s shrubland contributes $3.4 million to $6.7 million in ecosystem service benefits each year. When viewed as a natural capital asset that provides a flow of benefits over time, El Paso’s natural capital has an asset value between $107 million and $211 million over a 100-year lifespan and at a three percent discount rate. With sufficient stewardship to maintain the health and function of El Paso’s natural capital, this economic contribution will continue in perpetuity.
This study presents a first-ever ecosystem services valuation of the ecosystem services provided by Tucson, Arizona’s lower Sabino Creek. This analysis finds that lower Sabino Creek provides the local economy with $1.4 million to $2.1 million in ecosystem service benefits each year. When measured like an asset with a life-span of 100 years with a three percent discount rate, lower Sabino Creek has a net asset value between $46 million and $81 million. With sufficient stewardship to maintain the health and function of Sabino Creek, this economic contribution will continue in perpetuity.
This report presents a discussion of the source water watersheds for Little Rock, Arkansas, and its environs: Lake Winona and Lake Maumelle Watersheds. This report includes a description of each watershed’s current health, threats to water quality, and the ecosystem services benefits that the watersheds provide. In addition, we provide estimates for the economic value of these natural capital assets. By shedding light on the importance of these watersheds to the economic health of the region, these estimates provide the foundation for better-informed decisions regarding watershed management activities.
Water utilities depend on natural capital such as watersheds, forests, and river systems as a vital component of their drinking water infrastructure. A growing number of utilities have begun to include natural capital surcharges in their rates structures. This factsheet outlines examples that show how natural capital surcharges provide utilities with a useful communication and investment tool. This document updates the original factsheet, "Communicating and Investing in Natural Capital Using Water Rates, 2012".
This benefit-cost analysis investigated Southeast Washington's Lower Snake River dams, modeling the regional economic benefits in the form of outdoor recreation expenditures that are expected to accompany a free-flowing river. The dams yield a benefit-cost ration of only 0.15, but a free-flowing Lower Snake River may yield a ratio of over 4.3. In a dam breach scenario, outdoor recreation could generate as much as $500 million in consumer expenditures in the first few years alone.
Few public land managers use strategic tools to plan investments and ensure optimal decisions. Washington State Parks, recognizing the power of being strategic rather than opportunistic in decision making, engaged Earth Economics to create a tool that quantifies the social, environmental, and economic benefits of each state park in Washington State. The tool also lays a foundation for predicting hot spots for future acquisitions.