by T Boyer, S Polasky.
Wetlands 24(4): 744–7552004
Urban wetlands continue to be lost despite policies to encourage landowners to preserve them. Furthermore, despite a fairly extensive body of literature on attempts to value wetlands, the majority of these studies examine rural wetlands. For this study the authors conducted a literature review of wetlands valuation studies, with a focus on urban wetlands. The reviewed studies are arranged into sections by the five principal valuation methods. Limitations to the reliability of each of the methods, and how that could affect respondents’ willingness to pay, are also discussed in each section. Results from the literature review show a wide range of values, due to differences in what aspects of wetlands were valued, as well as the method used. However, multiple studies found that people who owned property in urban areas tended to value proximity to wetlands. Similarly, several studies reported positive values for recreation, commercial fishing, and water purification and other ecosystem services associated with wetlands. Examined collectively, the review finds that specific variants of wetlands, or specific services, are more highly valued than other aspects of wetlands. By reviewing the values that are associated with wetlands, this paper provides valuable insights on the incentives of private landowners and other decision-makers whose decisions affect wetlands; and are crucial for conservation efforts.