While we know that tropical marine ecosystems support fisheries, recreational opportunities, attract tourists and provide other ecosystem services, what are these ecosystem services worth? How does the health of an ecosystem affect the value of these services? Can the creation of a marine protected area change its value? How does the management of a protected area affect its value? These are all questions that we are addressing with this economic valuation of marine ecosystems in The Bahamas.
A team of ecologists, economists and social scientists are examining the value of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass and other habitats around The Bahamas in terms of their fishery production, tourism and recreation value, and the protection they offer coastal communities from storm surge and climate change. Furthermore, we are examining these values across a range of marine protected areas. Thus, we will determine how different forms of protection effect the value of ecosystem services. We will use results form this work to demonstrate the value of creating marine protected areas in The Bahamas other tropical marine systems.
- Stanford University – Natural Capital Program
- Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation
- The Nature Conservancy
- Bahamas National Trust