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.
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.
Community assets such as trails, parks and public open space provide numerous economic and social benefits, from improved health and reduced medical expenses to purchases at local businesses and job creation. Without access to trails, parks and open space, these benefits would be greatly diminished. This report summarizes the return on investment for community assets in the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Basin of south-central Alaska, including social (recreation, tourism, human health, public safety, subsistence, culture, and history) and economic (business, tax revenues, taxpayer savings) benefits.
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 report highlights the Long Island Sound Basin’s natural capital and provides an update to the 1992 Altobello valuation study. Fourteen ecosystem services across nine land cover types were valued, and total ecosystem services flows within the Basin were found to reach at least $17 billion to $37 billion every year. This report also includes recommendations to fill key gaps in primary valuation studies for Long Island Sound and to conduct assessments on the return on investment.
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 report presents a technical valuation of the damages from dumping accumulated dam sediments in the Anchicaya River on Colombia's Pacific Coast. The unplanned discharge of more than 500,000 cubic meters of sludge in 2001 resulted in shocks to vulnerable ecosystems, severe damage to fish and shellfish, and harm to water supply, crops, and riverine and coastal mangroves. Earth Economics partnered with Fundacion Neotropica to conduct an economic valuation of the damages, emphasizing ecosystem connectivity and both market and non-market environmental impacts.