How much do you value the natural resources of Delaware Bay? A local researcher finds a number
A new report estimates the natural resource value of the Mispillion and Cedar Creek watersheds to be in the millions of dollars.
Attractions like the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center near Milford and Mispillion Riverwalk Greenway have recreational values between hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars each year. That’s according to a report by a University of Maryland researcher commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Jennifer Egan of UMD’s Environmental Finance Center said her study used existing survey-based research to estimate the value of natural resources for recreation and recreation.
“This report is about how we look at all of what nature has to offer people,” she said. “Not only the tangible market value, but also the importance of being by a river or walking in a forest versus another area that is not as natural.”
The report estimates that the DuPont Nature Center and Mispillion Harbor have a recreational value of up to $ 1.15 million per year, based solely on shorebird watching. He estimates Slaughter Beach’s annual recreational value at around half a million dollars.
The report also mentions that salt marshes and other wetlands in watersheds reduce monetary damage from storms.
Egan says nonprofits or local governments can use the report to apply for grants to invest in the watershed.
“The next step in the study then is to say, if you invest here, that’s the potential benefit,” she said. “Again, this is about increased human pleasure, increased human choice to come to this region.”
“This research highlights what residents and leaders of Bayshore Delaware have long known: The beauty of the watersheds, marine life, and recreational and historic resources are essential to the local way of life,” said Joseph Gordon, director of conservation of marine life in the United States Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, in a statement. “We envision the research as the first step in creating a strategy that will boost the region’s economy, conserve its coastal resources, and improve the resilience of the entire region to sea level rise. “
The study is part of the work of the Waterways Infrastructure and Investment Network, an offshoot of the Delaware Resilient And Sustainable Communities League (RASCL) with funding to create a natural resource assessment and management plan for the watersheds of Mispillion and Cedar Creek.