Research on economic resource valuation studies in Galveston Bay
Whittington, Dale, Deborah Amaral, and Glenn Cassidy
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The purpose of this study is to assess the economic value of Galveston Bay. It is motivated by the recognition on the part of the Galveston Bay National Estuary Program (GBNEP) that the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) has the potential to require costly changes in the current regulatory infrastructure around the Bay, and by the desire of GBNEP to understand the potential economic benefits which may by associated with such changes. Although formal economic criteria will not be the basis for selection of alternatives in the formulation of the CCMP, GBNEP seeks insights about whether the initiatives in the plan may be worth the costs. Furthermore, GBNEP recognizes that traditional methods of economic analysis can substantially misrepresent the economic value of a natural resource. Thus, non-traditional methods are needed to support a more accurate assessment. In this study, a variety of non-traditional methods with which to estimate economic value are being employed, and the results will be compared for consistency and combined together with results from existing traditional studies to characterize the value of Galveston Bay. The selection of particular non-traditional methods has been made to address specific types of economic value that may be missing from traditional analyses, and to address issues of consistency and validity.