[Coral-List] NOAA news release: U.S. residents say Hawaii¹s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year

Martina Milanese m.milanese at studioassociatogaia.com
Fri Nov 4 14:46:40 EDT 2011

Ecological economics is all but an easy science. I am approaching it as a
non-practitioner (I am a marine biologist as a background) and struggle all
the time. We speak a different language, communication is difficult, I
always re-read the same pages so many times that I finally end up wondering
if it's me to be stupid. But I do think it is essential if we want to live
in a world that is made of nature and - whether we like it or not - humans.

Nobody claims the theory and protocols are perfect. Not even those who apply
them. If we can't agree on hard science, imagine on socio-economic one...
However there are many good points in ecological economics. And for those
you don't agree upon, complete rejection may not be the best approach.

Take a deep breath, find the time to read this or other documents (I haven't
read this one yet, for example, but others yes). Point out weakness, advice
for improvements, team up. If you don't like it, you may help make it
better. For a quick shot have a look at Wam 2010, Ecol econ 69(4): 675-679.

I am trying to do it in my spare time - so far it has been quite a
nightmare. But a useful one.



On 04/11/11 17:40, "frahome at yahoo.com" <frahome at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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
> Tuesday, October 25, 2011 6:26 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] NOAA news release:
> U.S. residents say Hawaii¹s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per
> year

U.S. residents say Hawaii¹s coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion
per year
Peer-reviewed survey asked U.S. public value of protecting the main
Hawaiian Islands¹ 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.

³The study shows that people from across the United States treasure
Hawaii¹s coral reefs, even though many never get to visit them,² said 
> Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and 
atmosphere and
> NOAA administrator. ³It illustrates the economic value of 
coral reefs to all
> Americans, and how important it is to conserve these 
ecosystems for future
> generations.²

"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 
> 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 
> the coral reef ecosystems would change in response to the two 
> 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.

NOAA¹s 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.

> 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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