The Economic Value of Wetlands as Storm Buffers

Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy, Louisiana State Univ. / by J. Luke Boutwell and John V. Westra

…This analysis uses hurricane simulation data to estimate county-or parish-level damages based on observed damages from coastal storms making landfall in Louisiana from 1995-2008. A model describing these damages as a function of wetland  area, socio-economic conditions and storm intensity allows the estimation of the value of wetlands for their protective ecosystem services under various contexts and future scenarios. Potential sources of error are discussed and examples are analyzed. The implications of these finding are significant for coastal restoration decisions in a changing environment…

The results from Model 4 (which is the same as Model 3, but includes both wetland classifications) [show that] all coefficients are highly significant for this model, including the wetland coefficient. The monetized marginal effect for this model yields a MV of  approximately $320/ha/km for a single storm. [H/T: Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News]


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