Wetlands are Vital to our Watershed
An NJ State report concluded that wetlands provided the largest dollar value of ecosystem services ($9.4 billion per year), which included:
- buffering of floods
- storm surges
- water treatment
This study explains the economic concept of “natural capital” which acknowledges the long term values of not only “goods” or commodities such as timber or quarry gravels, fish, etc., which come from natural resource areas, but also ecosystems services for such natural functions as floodwater storage, climate altering roles, water quality treatment, etc. Marine ecosystems ( estuaries, tidal bays, coastal waters) provided the second largest dollar amount of ecosystem services.
The NJ study is entitled” Valuing New Jerseys’s Natural Capital: An Assessment of the Economic Value of the State’s Natural Resources”, April 2007, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.