This report explores the importance of outdoor recreation in Whatcom County. The County's recreation-related businesses form an important hub of regional economic activity and contribute to the local tax base. This report includes an economic contribution analysis of outdoor recreation and further illustrates the value of Whatcom County's recreational lands through an ecosystem services valuation.
The natural capital in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides a robust flow of essential economic goods and services benefits, including food, water, clean air, natural beauty, climatic stability, storm and flood protection, and recreation. Agricultural lands make up over 65% of the ecosystems in Lancaster County, which is the first county in the nation to reach 100,000 acres of preserved farmland. This analysis identified the natural capital from farmland preservation at $676 million in annual economic benefits. If treated like an asset, Lancaster County ecosystems value at $17.5 billion.
This analysis quantified the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the William A. Grant Water & Environmental Center (WEC) at Walla Walla Community College. Since opening in 2007, the WEC has had an $88 million economic and environmental impact, and shows a $3 return for every $1 invested. This study helped secure continued government funding for the Center.
This first-ever regional economic valuation demonstrates how natural capital and its benefits directly support Santa Clara County’s economic health and overall well-being. Nature in Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley, provides benefits valued at $1.6 to $3.9 billion annually. These benefits include clean air, water supply and quality, reduced fire and flood risk, wildlife habitat, pollination, healthy food and recreation. The asset value of Santa Clara County’s natural capital is estimated between $162 and $386 billion.