The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems

Restoring coastal ecosystems produces economic returns beyond job creation and economic stimulus.

Oxfam America and the Center for American Progress (CAP) collaborated on a report which finds that each dollar invested by taxpayers returned more than $15 in net economic benefits for three restoration projects funded in 2009 by stimulus grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

Healthy coastal ecosystems provide not just environmental benefits, but critical social and environmental benefits as well. They filter pollution, buffer coasts against extreme weather, serve as nurseries that sustain fisheries, and support tourism, recreation, and the culture of coastal communities. However, we are losing wetlands in the United States at a rate of seven football fields an hour due to development, pollution, and sea-level rise.

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