Jenkins, W.A., B.C. Murray, R.A. Kramer and S.P. Faulkner
This study assesses the value of restoring forested wetlands via the U.S. government’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley by quantifying and monetizing ecosystem services. The three focal services are greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, nitrogen mitigation, and waterfowl recreation. Site- and region-level measurements of these ecosystem services are combined with process models to quantify their production on agricultural land, which serves as the baseline, and on restored wetlands. We adjust and transform these measures into per-hectare, valuation-ready units and monetize them with prices from emerging ecosystem 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.