Valuing the Ecosystem Services of Watersheds

Along the coast, the need to conserve natural buffers for rivers and wetlands has become a source of tension between development and conservation interests. To help address this issue, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve developed a model for evaluating ecosystem service values and tradeoffs. Using this model provides findings that can be surprising. For instance, in south coastal Maine, residents value placing greater restrictions on private land development.

The NOAA Research Council’s Ecosystem Research Committee is using this project as an example of how to conduct integrated social and ecological science. (2016)

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Partners: City of Sanford, Maine, George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University, Laudholm Trust, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Drinking Water Program, Maine Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials, Maine Sea Grant, Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, Towns of Kennebunk and Wells, Maine, University of New England Department of Environmental Studies, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve