The economic value of ecosystem services (non-market) and the market value (represented by a proxy of gross domestic product (GDP)) represent the synthetic green GDP of the earth and of different nations. Mapping and estimating national green GDPs is a challenging task. In this study, we estimated the global market and non-market monetary values using two images, GlobCover 2009 and nighttime satellite imagery, as well as a comprehensive dataset. We also developed an integrated method supported by geographic information system (GIS) techniques, focused on spatial heterogeneity and real value, to create synthetic green GDP maps at global and national scales. Our results show that in 2009, for the entire biosphere, the ecosystem services value (ESV) could be estimated at US$ 149.61 trillion. Approximately 75.15% of the ESV is contributed by marine systems. The world GDP in 2009 was about US$ 71.75 trillion (for 225 countries or regions), resulting in a ratio of total ESV to GDP of approximately 2.09–1. Nighttime satellite imagery represents a more spatially explicit indicator of market value than does GDP. We also found that the distribution of the synthetic national green GDPs follows Zipf's Law, which holds that internal coherence exists among countries. A crude but simple indicator of the %ESV indicates that the relationship between the GDP and ESV is not always in a fixed pattern. The reliability of this result was demonstrated by comparing it with previous research and other relevant indices. We found a very high degree of confidence associated with this product. The method presented here is generally applicable at the global and continental scales and is applicable at the national scale for mapping the ESV and GDP. We hope that the results of this study will inform both policy-makers and the public about national green GDPs and encourage them to incorporate these values into policy decisions.
Coastal and ocean recreation provides significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities of the Mid-Atlantic, encompassing New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. It is important to understand how and where people use the coast and ocean as a first step towards better management of the natural resources integral to coastal and ocean recreation.
To address this need, and to inform regional ocean planning efforts for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB), the Surfrider Foundation (Surfrider), in partnership with Point 97 (a company of Ecotrust), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute (Monmouth) (jointly, the Team), in collaboration with MARCO, engaged 'non-consumptive&' recreational users such as divers, surfers, kayakers, beach goers, and wildlife viewers to carry out the Mid-Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study (Study) in 2013-2014.
The Team used a web-based survey to collect data from respondents on recreational use patterns, trip expenditures, and demographics. The survey included a series of questions and an easy-to-use interactive mapping tool. Respondents marked places on maps where they recreated over the last 12 months. The Team then analyzed the resulting spatial data to develop maps indicating intensity of use for 16 recreational activities in the region.
To promote participation in the Study, the Team engaged coastal and ocean recreational stakeholders and regional planning partners like MARCO to collaboratively develop the survey instrument, deploy targeted outreach strategies, and review the resulting spatial data on coastal and ocean recreation use patterns.
The Team implemented a variety of outreach strategies designed to promote stakeholder engagement in all phases of the Study. Outreach efforts targeted non-consumptive coastal and ocean users and leveraged the collaboration of a broad set of recreational businesses, groups, and associations, as well as environmental organizations in the region. The Team's outreach also incorporated information about the regional ocean planning process and opportunities for public engagement.
In total, Mid-Atlantic respondents completed nearly 1,500 surveys resulting in over 22,000 unique data points. The data show that coastal and ocean recreation encompasses a popular and diverse group of activities in the Mid-Atlantic, resulting in major economic and social benefits to coastal communities. The average respondent who visited the Mid-Atlantic coast spent an average of $71.06 per trip.
The Team, in coordination with other relevant recreational use studies in the region, has made the data and information from the Study available on the MARCO Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/portal) and to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (http://www.boem.gov/Mid-Atlantic-Regional-Planning-Body), as it develops a Regional Ocean Action Plan for coastal and ocean uses in the Mid-Atlantic.
For the first time, regional scale maps showing coastal and ocean recreational use patterns are available to help planners and managers make better-informed decisions in consideration of maintaining and improving recreational uses and values. The Team expects this new baseline to serve as a credible first iteration, a foundation to be updated and improved as new information on coastal and ocean recreation becomes available.
In 2010, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was established for the Chesapeake Bay, defining the limits on emissions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment necessary to reverse declines in the Bay’s quality and associated biological resources. Agriculture is the largest single source of nutrients and sediment in the watershed. We use data on crop and animal agriculture in the watershed to assess the relative effectiveness of alternative policy approaches for achieving the nutrient and sediment reduction goals of the TMDL, ranging from voluntary financial incentives to regulations. The cost of achieving water quality goals depends heavily on which policy choices are selected and how they are implemented. We found that policies that provide incentives for water quality improvements are the most efficient, assuming necessary information on pollutant delivery is available for each field. Policies that directly encourage adoption of management systems that protect water quality (referred to as design-based) are the most practical, given the limited information that is generally available to farmers and resource agencies. Information on field characteristics can be used to target design-based policies to improve efficiency.