A Policy Analysis of the Use of Ecosystem Service Values in State and Local Decision-Making

Understanding the value of ecosystem services, such as flood protection, recreation, tourism, and water quality, can be important when making decisions that affect coastal resources. This study helps coastal managers understand when ecosystem valuations can be used for decisions involving conservation versus development, shoreline protection, land-use planning, permitting for development, and managing retreat.

Coastal states can use the recommendations from this report in the following ways:

  • Identifying policy applications for ecosystem services information
  • Establishing trade-offs between development and conservation, and between management alternatives
  • Making better-informed coastal management decisions
  • Maintaining specific ecosystem services for future generations while allowing the current generation to use and benefit from them
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