Abstract Title

Session S-03F: Tools for Assessment and Implementation

Proposed Abstract Title

Nature’s Values in Clallam County: Policy Implications of the Economic Benefits of Feeder Bluffs and 12 Other Ecosystems

Presenter/Author Information

Lola FloresFollow

Keywords

Planning Assessment & Communication

Location

Room 602-603

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Clallam County, in the northwestern most region of Washington State, has some of the most beautiful, diverse, and productive working and natural landscapes in the country. Of the 2,670 square miles in Clallam County, 931 square miles of shorelines feature salmon-spawning streams, dramatic sea stacks, beaches, and towering coastal cliffs called feeder bluffs. Coastline ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of increasing development and climate change, such as sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Clallam County is currently faced with increased bluff erosion and a fragmented shoreline, threatening key ecosystems that support economic activity. In order to understand the real economic costs of damaged natural systems in decision and policy-making, it is increasingly common to consider ecosystems as economic assets. Two types of natural capital valuation were used to assess the economic value of Clallam’s natural systems. First, using biophysical data we calculated the economic value of nearshore processes, including sediment provided by feeder bluffs to beaches downstream. Second, a full natural capital appraisal valued all ecosystem services found across all Clallam County’s land cover types. Economic valuation can inform policy development and implementation, such as Shoreline Master Planning. The ecosystem service values provided in this study are defensible and applicable to decision-making at every jurisdictional level. Recent heavy storm surges such as those experienced along the eastern seaboard in September 2012, and the threat of climate change, have focused attention on the delicate state of the shoreline in Washington. Because bluff erosion is a natural and dominant feature along exposed shorelines, landowners are concerned not only about environmental degradation due to increased development but also about the safety and value of their homes along the coast. Many property owners have lost acres of land due to natural erosion and struggle with very expensive installation and maintenance costs of the very bulkheads and seawalls that are increasing erosion of their neighbor’s bluffs.

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Apr 30th, 3:30 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Nature’s Values in Clallam County: Policy Implications of the Economic Benefits of Feeder Bluffs and 12 Other Ecosystems

Room 602-603

Clallam County, in the northwestern most region of Washington State, has some of the most beautiful, diverse, and productive working and natural landscapes in the country. Of the 2,670 square miles in Clallam County, 931 square miles of shorelines feature salmon-spawning streams, dramatic sea stacks, beaches, and towering coastal cliffs called feeder bluffs. Coastline ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of increasing development and climate change, such as sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Clallam County is currently faced with increased bluff erosion and a fragmented shoreline, threatening key ecosystems that support economic activity. In order to understand the real economic costs of damaged natural systems in decision and policy-making, it is increasingly common to consider ecosystems as economic assets. Two types of natural capital valuation were used to assess the economic value of Clallam’s natural systems. First, using biophysical data we calculated the economic value of nearshore processes, including sediment provided by feeder bluffs to beaches downstream. Second, a full natural capital appraisal valued all ecosystem services found across all Clallam County’s land cover types. Economic valuation can inform policy development and implementation, such as Shoreline Master Planning. The ecosystem service values provided in this study are defensible and applicable to decision-making at every jurisdictional level. Recent heavy storm surges such as those experienced along the eastern seaboard in September 2012, and the threat of climate change, have focused attention on the delicate state of the shoreline in Washington. Because bluff erosion is a natural and dominant feature along exposed shorelines, landowners are concerned not only about environmental degradation due to increased development but also about the safety and value of their homes along the coast. Many property owners have lost acres of land due to natural erosion and struggle with very expensive installation and maintenance costs of the very bulkheads and seawalls that are increasing erosion of their neighbor’s bluffs.