Abstract Title

Session S-05F: Ecosystem Restoration: Geomorphic Context, Design Considerations, and Success Stories

Proposed Abstract Title

Designing local benefits to generate basin-wide gains for Puget Sound

Presenter/Author Information

Mark Buckley, ECONorthwest, Ltd.Follow

Keywords

Restoration

Location

Room 602-603

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

Protecting and improving ecosystems for Puget Sound and the Salish Sea as a whole requires planning and implementation at the basin scale. But individual projects have local opportunity costs and support requirements. So local benefits must be part of project design for long-term success. I review successfully funded and implemented Puget Sound conservation and restoration projects that have achieved this by taking into account local benefits, including non-ecological benefits. These include restoration in the Skagit Delta that also provides benefits to farmers, green stormwater infrastructure in Seattle that provides energy and aesthetic benefits to homeowners and businesses, and levee setbacks along the Green River that provide flood protection and local recreation. These successful projects demonstrate how designing for multiple benefits can bring to bear more resources, including land and funding, than single-objective projects alone. They reveal economic principles and a framework for identifying the types of benefits that can be the difference between success and failure for projects with broad Puget Sound objectives. Designing for, identifying and quantifying benefits in measures that directly relate to local scarcities can be the most efficient, or the only feasible means in some contexts. This approach can not only avoid conflict, but stimulate cooperation and contribution of effort and resources from diverse stakeholder groups. This approach can seem inefficient or even “pork barrel” by utilizing funds for local objectives that are intended for broad goals. But through careful evaluation of cost and benefits and how local behaviors contribute to success or failure, this local approach can generate the most feasible benefit per public dollar spent.

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Designing local benefits to generate basin-wide gains for Puget Sound

Room 602-603

Protecting and improving ecosystems for Puget Sound and the Salish Sea as a whole requires planning and implementation at the basin scale. But individual projects have local opportunity costs and support requirements. So local benefits must be part of project design for long-term success. I review successfully funded and implemented Puget Sound conservation and restoration projects that have achieved this by taking into account local benefits, including non-ecological benefits. These include restoration in the Skagit Delta that also provides benefits to farmers, green stormwater infrastructure in Seattle that provides energy and aesthetic benefits to homeowners and businesses, and levee setbacks along the Green River that provide flood protection and local recreation. These successful projects demonstrate how designing for multiple benefits can bring to bear more resources, including land and funding, than single-objective projects alone. They reveal economic principles and a framework for identifying the types of benefits that can be the difference between success and failure for projects with broad Puget Sound objectives. Designing for, identifying and quantifying benefits in measures that directly relate to local scarcities can be the most efficient, or the only feasible means in some contexts. This approach can not only avoid conflict, but stimulate cooperation and contribution of effort and resources from diverse stakeholder groups. This approach can seem inefficient or even “pork barrel” by utilizing funds for local objectives that are intended for broad goals. But through careful evaluation of cost and benefits and how local behaviors contribute to success or failure, this local approach can generate the most feasible benefit per public dollar spent.