Restoring mangroves, marshes, dunes, reefs, and other coastal habitats can bring many benefits, beyond clean water and coastal protection. A study from 2013 found that 50 NOAA projects, funded with $167 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, brought 17 jobs for every million dollars spent (note that oil and gas development brings 5.2 jobs for every million spent) and a return on investment of at least $1.60 per dollar spent, not including costs avoided. These estimates don’t take into account the fact that these habitats absorb carbon at over 10 times the rate of forests, an additional value that is difficult to monetize but a significant opportunity for climate protection.
Climate Protection: Increases sequestration of carbon from coastal environments
Resilience: Allows for faster alleviation of flood waters and provides a buffer from extreme weather events
Food & Water: Conserves clean water and food resources
Jobs & Assets: Provides direct and indirect jobs related to restoration and brings outlets for other professionals to add green skill sets
Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Cleans air and water
Connection: Increases opportunities for individuals to enjoy coastal habitats and wildlife
This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.