Ecological and economic risk analysis of everglades: Phase I restoration alternatives

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Abstract

Evaluating alternatives for restoring the Everglades involves analysis of a complex ecological and economic system for which current knowledge is limited. Uncertain benefits and impacts are analyzed probabilistically in this paper, following otherwise accepted principles of net present value (NPV) analysis. Ecological benefits and impacts were considered in monetary terms. Probabilities for selected uncertain parameters were found by maximizing entropy. The first ecological risk conceptual model for the Everglades ecosystem was developed to show ecological interactions. 'Current Plans' for restoration involve discharge of phosphorus-enriched water from artificial wetlands to relatively pristine Everglades marshes for 3-10 years, risking conversion of the ecosystem to a eutrophic cattail marsh. For two of the three areas studied, alternative 'Bypass Plans' were shown to avoid the loss of up to 3000 acres of sawgrass marsh at a cost that is probabilistically justified by the value of the ecosystem preserved. Sensitivity of the results to projected ecological changes, eutrophic marsh valuation, natural marsh valuation, and future values as represented in the discount rate, was examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-771
Number of pages17
JournalRisk Analysis
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

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Keywords

  • Cost-benefit
  • Ecological
  • Economic
  • Entropy
  • Everglades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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