Economic Values of Saginaw Bay Coastal Marshes with a Focus on Recreational Values

What is the value of Saginaw Bay coastal marshes? If this question is asked of one hundred people in the Bay area, there might be 100 different answers. Those with an ecological perspective would talk about nutrients and productivity, hunters and anglers would talk about migratory bird and fish habitats, and water resource managers would talk about storm water storage and water purification. Others with a more pragmatic bent would talk about the value of good soil and water for agriculture, or the value of waterfront property for urban development. Some would value Saginaw Bay wetlands for purely aesthetic reasons entirely. Although most everyone believes that Saginaw Bay coastal marshes have some sort of value, this study tries to monetarily quantify this value using technically robust economic tools, while explaining the results in a way that is understandable to the public. Although many researchers study and write about the various biological and ecological contributions of Midwest coastal wetlands, attempts to quantify these in dollar figures are few and far between. This project addresses this gap in information in an effort to help guide efforts related to coastal marsh conservation.

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