GEMS Phase I Report: Oyster Reef Restoration

The GEMS (Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models and Socio-Economic Indicators) team will develop ESLMs and metrics for a wide range of coastal restoration approaches over the course of the project. This report presents the results of the first phase of the GEMS project, which focused on oyster reef restoration. 

Incentivizing the Reduction of Pollution at U.S. Dairies

This article examines the intricacies of environmental credit generation from concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) farm systems. This article describes the stacking problem and explores possible solu­tions, such as temporal constraints on credit issuance and discounting credits to account for additionality problems.

Local Community Benefits from Ecosystem Services Provided by Mangroves on the North Brazil Shelf

This analysis seeks to evaluate the size and distribution of the services the mangrove ecosystem is providing to local communities in Suriname and Guyana. The study involves three components: (i) the description, from the scientific and grey literatures, of the mangrove ecosystem services specific to local communities in Guyana and Suriname; (ii) identification of methods that could be used to estimate the economic values of these services, and estimation of the economic values for mangrove forests’ fisheries support ecosystem service; and (iii) identification of local beneficiaries of these services.

Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation Priorities for Recreational Birding

This methods brief focuses on recreational birding. This analysis maps the location of recreational birding activity in the southeastern U.S. Regional priorities for conservation of birding areas are identified based on the total amount of birding activity and the proportion of birding activity that takes place on unprotected land.

Aligning Evidence Generation and Use across Health, Development, and Environment

Although health, development, and environment challenges are interconnected, evidence remains fractured across sectors due to methodological and conceptual differences in research and practice. Aligned methods are needed to support Sustainable Development Goal advances and similar agendas. The Bridge Collaborative, an emergent research-practice collaboration, presents principles and recommendations that help harmonize methods for evidence generation and use.

Forecasting Ecosystem Services to Guide Coastal Wetland Rehabilitation Decisions

Coastal wetlands provide diverse ecosystem services such as flood protection and recreational value. However, predicting changes in ecosystem service value from restoration or management is challenging because environmental systems are highly complex and uncertain. Furthermore, benefits are diverse and accrue over various timescales. We developed a generalizable mathematical coastal management model to compare restoration expenditures to ecosystem service benefits and apply it to McInnis Marsh, Marin County, California, USA.

Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation and Restoration Priorities for Wild Pollinator Habitat

This methods brief focuses on wild pollination, which is beneficial to the production of many pollinator-dependent crops. This analysis maps the supply of potential wild pollinator habitat and the demand for pollination from agriculture. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.

Assessing Ecosystem Service Benefits from Military Installations

Military bases provide substantial ecosystem services to local communities and other members of the public. This project conceptualizes and quantifies ecosystem services provided by U.S. military bases developing an integrated modeling platform called MoTIVES (Model-based Tracking and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services). MoTIVES manages probabilistic simulations of biophysical and economic models for relevant ecosystem services provided by alternative base management scenarios, and then assigns values where valuation is possible.

Reducing Environmental Risks from Belt and Road Initiative Investments in Transportation Infrastructure

The proposed Belt and Road Initiative rail and road investments have stimulated concerns because of the history of significant negative environmental impacts from large-scale transportation projects across the globe. This paper studies environmental risks—direct and indirect—from Belt and Road Initiative transportation projects and the mitigation strategies and policies to address them. The paper concludes with a recommendation on how to take advantage of the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative to address these concerns in a way not typically available to stand-alone projects.

Cross-Discipline Evidence Principles for Sustainability Policy

Social and environmental systems are linked and, as this relationship becomes ever more apparent, governments, communities and organizations are increasingly faced with, and focused on, problems that are complex, wicked and transgress traditional disciplinary boundaries. This article in the journal Nature Sustainability suggests that evidence-based approaches to solve these complex multi-disciplinary challenges must draw on knowledge from the environment, development, and health domains. To address barriers to the consideration of evidence across domains, this paper develops an approach to evidence assessment that is broader and less hierarchical than the standards often applied within disciplines.