Study finds that every $1 spent on Everglades restoration yields $4.04

This 2012 report by Mather Economics was commissioned by the Everglades Restoration Foundation.

Here’s a summary of its conclusions:
Everglades restoration will have important and significant economic impacts on several basic services provided by this massive and complex ecosystem. We have split these services into six distinct divisions. For each of these categories, we conservatively estimated, using best available data and economic methods, the increase in economic value of a restored Everglades ecosystem.

Our analysis strongly suggests that restoration of the Everglades as described and planned in CERP will have
large economic benefits. Our best estimate is that restoration will generate an increase in economic welfare of approximately $46.5 billion in net present value terms that could range up to $123.9 billion.

The return on investment, as measured by the benefit-cost ratio, assuming a cost of restoration of $11.5 billion, is also high and significant, 4.04, which means for every one dollar invested in Everglades restoration $4.04 dollars are generated.

Everglades restoration will also have an incremental impact on employment of about 442,000 additional workers over 50 years. In addition, the Corps of Engineers estimates there will be 22,000 jobs created as a result of the actual restoration projects. Throughout our analysis, we have taken a very conservative approach to estimation. Accordingly our best estimates almost surely understate the return on investment of Everglades restoration.

[Photo credit: Storm Cunningham]

Download full report (PDF).

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