Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
This study assesses the value of restoring forested wetlands via the U.S. government's Wetlands Reserve Program in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley by quantifying and monetizing ecosystem services. The three focal services are greenhouse gas mitigation, nitrogen mitigation and waterfowl recreation. Site- and region-lvel measurements of these ecosystem services are combined with process models to quantifyin their production on agricultural land, which serves as the baseline. We adjust and transform these measures into per-hectare, valuation-ready unites and monetize them with prices from emerging ecoystem markets and the environmental economics literature. By valuing three of the many ecosystem services produced, we generate lower bound estimates for the total ecosystem value of the wetlands restoration.