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.
In 2017, Earth Economics consulted with the Puyallup Watershed Initiative to prepare an exploratory report to better understand the potential tradeoffs that can occur when developing properties in incorporated and unincorporated Pierce County.
To better understand the economic incentives to invest in Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) recovery, Earth Economics conducted an economic contribution analysis to estimate the value of whale watching in San Juan County.
Forests are among Pierce County's most valuable natural assets, supporting clean water and air, bolstering climate stability, and sustaining local communities.