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Valuing the storm protection service of estuarine and coastal ecosystems


  • Barbier, Edward B.


Recent concern over the loss of estuarine and coastal ecosystems (ECEs) often focuses on an important service provided by these ecosystems, their role in protecting coastal communities from storms that damage property and cause deaths and injury. Past valuations of this benefit have relied on the second-best replacement cost method, estimating the protective value of ECEs with the cost of building human-made storm barriers. A promising alternative methodological approach to incorporate these factors is using the expected damage function (EDF) method, which requires modeling the production of this protection service of ECEs and estimating its value in terms of reducing the expected damages or deaths avoided by coastal communities. This paper illustrates the EDF approach to value the storm protection service of ECEs, using the example of mangroves in Thailand to compare and contrast the EDF with the replacement cost approach to estimate the protective value of ECEs. In addition, the example of marshes in the US Gulf Coast is employed to show how the EDF approach can be combined with hydrodynamic analysis of simulated hurricane storm surges to determine the economic value of expected property damages reduced through the presence of marsh wetlands and their vegetation along a storm surge path.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbier, Edward B., 2015. "Valuing the storm protection service of estuarine and coastal ecosystems," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 32-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:11:y:2015:i:c:p:32-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.06.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Craig E. Landry & Paul Hindsley & Okmyung Bin & Jamie B. Kruse & John C. Whitehead & Ken Wilson, 2011. "Weathering the Storm: Measuring Household Willingness-to-Pay for Risk-Reduction in Post-Katrina New Orleans," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 991-1013, April.
    2. Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "Valuing ecosystem services as productive inputs," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 177-229, January.
    3. Edward B. Barbier & Brian S. Enchelmeyer, 2014. "Valuing the storm surge protection service of US Gulf Coast wetlands," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 167-185, July.
    4. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "A spatial model of coastal ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 70-79.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meixler, Marcia S., 2017. "Assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage and resulting loss in ecosystem services in a coastal-urban setting," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 28-46.
    2. Christine Carmichael & Cecilia Danks & Christine Vatovec, 2019. "Green Infrastructure Solutions to Health Impacts of Climate Change: Perspectives of Affected Residents in Detroit, Michigan, USA," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-15, October.
    3. Herrera, Diego & Cunniff, Shannon & DuPont, Carolyn & Cohen, Benjamin & Gangi, Dakota & Kar, Devyani & Peyronnin Snider, Natalie & Rojas, Victor & Wyerman, Jim & Norriss, Jessie & Mountenot, Marshall, 2019. "Designing an environmental impact bond for wetland restoration in Louisiana," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 260-276.


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