[Coral-List] NOAA news release: U.S. residents say Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year

frahome at yahoo.com frahome at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 4 12:40:38 EDT 2011

What does it mean? That if we find a (long term?) alternative use for these sites worth $40 billion per year we can feel fine to blow the Hawaiian reefs up? 

I am very curious to understand how is "the willingness to pay to protect the coral reef ecosystem for future generations" evaluated? 

Like for example if I was one of those interviewed and I had no money on my account how much could I have offered maximum to protect the reef?
I noted there is a special category for people considering themselves environmentalists. Why? Are their values taken more or less into account?

I apologize in advance for not having time to read and understand the full report.


From: Jon Corsiglia <Jon.Corsiglia at noaa.gov>
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 6:26 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] NOAA news release: U.S. residents say Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year

U.S. residents say Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion 
per year
Peer-reviewed survey asked U.S. public value of protecting the main 
Hawaiian Islands’ corals

October 21, 2011


A peer-reviewed study commissioned by NOAA shows the American people 
assign an estimated total economic value of $33.57 billion for the coral 
reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands.

“The study shows that people from across the United States treasure 
Hawaii’s coral reefs, even though many never get to visit them,” said 
Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and 
atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “It illustrates the economic value of 
coral reefs to all Americans, and how important it is to conserve these 
ecosystems for future generations.”

"We are pleased that research is being done to look at the value of 
Hawaii's coral reefs, but before we consider any potential applications 
of the study we will consult closely with local communities," said 
William J. Aila, Jr., chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Land and 
Natural Resources.

The study employed a scientifically developed national Internet survey 
of more than 3,200 households – a representative sample of all U.S. 
residents, not just Hawaii or coastal residents. From June through 
October 2009, the survey allowed the public to express its preferences 
and values for protection and restoration of the coral reef ecosystems 
around the main Hawaiian Islands. In this study, total economic value 
includes so-called passive use values, such as the willingness to pay to 
protect the coral reef ecosystem for future generations, as well as 
direct use values, such as snorkeling over a coral reef or consuming 
fish supported by coral reef ecosystems.

A panel of independent university and private scientists, from both 
Hawaii and the continental U.S., provided facts to the survey design 
team about the Hawaiian coral reef ecosystems and provided estimates of 
how the coral reef ecosystems would change in response to the two 
possible management options. The descriptions, including illustrations, 
of improvement to coral ecosystems gave survey respondents a clear 
understanding of what they were being asked to value and how the 
ecosystems would change as a result of the protection measures.

To estimate underlying values the public places on coral reef 
ecosystems, the study team presented survey participants with two 
specific measures to protect and restore coral reef ecosystems. One 
measure aimed at reducing effects to coral ecosystems from fishing, and 
another to repair reefs damaged by ships.

The main Hawaiian Islands consist of eight volcanic islands that range 
in age from active lava flows on the east side of the Big Island to 
seven million-year-old Kauai. Despite their economic significance, reefs 
near urbanized areas, such as Honolulu, Wailuku, and Kahului, have 
experienced increasing stress from ever-increasing population and other 

The national survey was funded by NOAA and the National Science 
Foundation, and was designed to address the issue of Internet bias. The 
survey was conducted through two Internet panels; one recruited 
participants using controlled random digit dialing telephone surveys and 
the other using standard U.S. Bureau of the Census methods of randomly 
selecting households and going to each household to recruit participants 
via face-to-face interviewing.

NOAA will use this study to provide a reliable estimate of the value of 
the coral reef ecosystem around the main Hawaiian Islands. It also 
demonstrates that coral reefs provide valuable ecological services for 
U.S. residents, regardless of whether they actually use them.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's 
environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and 
to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on 
Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

Jon Corsiglia
Communications&  Outreach Specialist
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Find us online: http://coralreef.noaa.gov
'Like' us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/uscoralreefgov

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