Contingent Valuation of the Western Lake Pontchartrain Basin Ecosystem
How much would the residents of southeast
A more accurate pricethe value we place on our wetlandscan be useful when choosing restoration projects based on cost-to-benefit ratios, among other things. This study set out to determine a hypothetical price called a willingness-to-pay, or WTP, for restoration of marsh and swamplands via telephone survey. In our survey, we asked about a particular wetlands area in order to create the hypothetical market: the river diversion project through the
We used the estimated WTP to conservatively calculate an aggregated value of $35,456,095 for the Maurepas wetlands for purely the public good, setting aside private benefits and other possible issues; this covers the majority of the $50 million restoration project. Our aggregate value based estimated WTP can be used to calculate an average of $985 per acre for the approximately 36,000 acres affected by the Maurepas river diversion project.
We also found that the relationship between home value and hurricane and storm protection is high; for those who view storm protection as an important aspect of wetlands restoration, the higher value of their home meant a greater value of WTP for restoration. Of the respondents that answered a question on a tax for restoration, 84.4% said that they would be willing on some level to pay via income tax for restoration efforts.