Environmental Economics

Valuation of Ecological Benefits: Improving the Science Behind Policy Decisions

This two-day workshop co-sponsored by EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics and National Center for Environmental Research highlighted results from EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants and other projects related to methods, models and empirical estimates to improve the valuation of ecological endpoints at risk from environmental harm. Investigators presented research on ecosystem valuation, including methodological improvements as well as ways to incorporate non-monetizable or non-quantifiable ecological information into environmental policy decisions. Topics include research examining the benefits of improved coastal water quality, the value of improved fresh water quality, advances in the stated preference valuation method, balancing conservation and urban growth, and valuing wildlife health and biodiversity. The workshop featured a keynote address by Geoffrey Heal of Columbia University in addition to opening remarks by Mike Shapiro, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water.