Economic Guidance for Coastal Management Professionals

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Coastal managers often need economic valuation information for project proposals, assessments, or funding applications. The following modules provide information about approaches for economic analysis and relevant examples, and a guide on how to conduct simple ecosystem service valuation. These trainings can be taken independently or sequentially.


Training hosts can customize the workshop by selecting one or more of the following modules.

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Module 1: Introduction to Economic Analyses and Valuation

This module provides an introduction to benefit-cost analysis, economic impact analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, benefit valuation methods, and more. Understanding these basics will help participants identify the most appropriate approach and the data needed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize and understand basic economic terminology
  • Recognize relevant economic approaches and analyses
  • Identify the best approach to use based on project objectives, level of expertise, and funding
  • Locate support tools
  • Conceptualize appropriate questions to ask an economist or an expert

Duration: 90 minutes

Continuing Education Credits

This module offers one-and-a-half hours of continuing education credits through the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Module 2: Pathways to Valuing Ecosystem Services

This module provides an overview of three common paths used to estimate the value of ecosystem services: site-specific studies, benefits transfer, and tools with built-in benefits. Each path will include information on its strengths and limitations, and on relevant support tools such as BlueValue (for benefits transfer) and the FEMA Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Toolkit.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand ecosystem service valuation terminology
  • Conduct a rough benefits transfer estimate
  • Choose the proper pathway for ecosystem service valuation based on available time, funding, and expertise
  • Access relevant support tools and valuation data

Duration: 90 minutes

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