This paper presents a rigorous physical and economic valuation of wetland benefits for risk reduction. It demonstrates at regional and local scales the considerable role that coastal wetlands play in reducing risk and property damages from flooding. The contribution by wetlands to damage reduction was 1% of the total damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, but this still represents $625 Million in averted damages and a 11% reduction where wetlands remain. Wetlands were also found to reduce annual flood losses from storms in Ocean County by 16%. Wetland presence is one of many factors that influence flood risk; this paper highlights the utility and importance of isolating and measuring their role using industry-standard, risk modelling tools.
The Value of Coastal Wetlands for Flood Damage Reduction in the Northeastern USA
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