The Hunts Point community is proactively looking to reintroduce nature-based solutions to help reduce pressing environmental challenges, like persistent flooding, while also providing broad community benefits like access to parks and recreation, better air quality, and protection from extreme heat. Nature-based solutions have proven to be cost-effective for many resilience challenges throughout the world, often providing a high return-on-investment as measured through public and private benefits.
A Snapshot of Potential Environmental and Social Costs of the Proposed Little Haiti Development
The proposed Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Programexpansion on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterwayrepresents an opportunity for the USACE to incorporate ecosystem service values into its analysis so that planning decisions can be made using the most complete information possible. Indeed, including ecosystem service values in economic analyses for this and other future navigation projects offers a monumental opportunity to arrive at win-win solutions that prioritize both the health and productivity of the Mississippi River and the future prosperity of the nation.
The proposed Hale Parkway project is a multi-functional storm water facility and community asset that mitigates flooding, generates significant community benefits, and improves water quality. Community benefits can be obvious, like providing a new recreation opportunity or community gathering space, or more subtle, such as improving air quality or providing habitat for birds. These benefits, also known as ecosystem services, enhance community resilience and well-being and increase the return on investment to the com munity.
Natural capital provides many social, economic, and environmental benefits within Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, and continued degradation of ecosystems by stamp sands threatens the environment and local economies.
As a natural capital asset, Biscayne Bay’s coastal wetlands provide essential ecosystem services that can be valued.
The shoreline and marine ecosystems of San Juan County provide benefits that would be impractical or even impossible to replace, including water quality, air quality, flood risk reduction, and habitat for threatened and endangered species. Once lost, these services that the county receives for free must be replaced with costly built solutions, which are often less resilient and shorter-lived. Understanding and accounting for ecosystem services reveals the true economic benefits of healthy ecosystems and the true economic damages that pollution events such as oil spills generate for communities like the San Juan County.
Colorado has long been a leader in innovative funding for recreation. The commission is interested in a larger conversation around long-term funding, with the understanding of changing demographics and increased pressure on Colorado’s recreation lands.
The South Platte River Watershed provides extensive value, approximately $7.4 billion per year in ecosystem services, to the economy and people of the watershed.